Steve Claridge: Ask A Silly Question

Player-turned-pundit Steve Claridge answers silly questions in 2009.

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Hello Steve. You used to sell fruit and veg out of the boot of your car. What are your favourite greens?
I love them all, mate. I was never one of those kids who didn’t eat their greens. Sprouts are my top vegetable, and I’m a big fan of the pineapple.

Is there nothing in the greengrocers you won’t eat?
I’m not a massive fennel fan. But I love every fruit. My diet is pretty good.

What are your top tips for getting good produce?
Not every apple or orange is the same. There’s a massive difference between ?a good cauliflower and a bad cauliflower.

Would you settle an office debate: Cox or Pink Lady?
You can get good and bad apples of any type, but I prefer a Pink Lady. It’s got to be a good, big Pink Lady, though.

Your dentist must be delighted with you, Steve.
Well, I’ve suffered some acid erosion due to all the oranges I’ve eaten. But I do look after my teeth. Lots of water is key.

Have you succumbed to the lure of the electric toothbrush?
No, I use an old-school brush. But I do floss and use mouthwash.

Good news. What’s the most pain you’ve ever experienced?
She’s sitting next to me. [Sound of Mrs Claridge delivering a dead arm] Ow! I’ve been punched by me missus. No, breaking ribs is the worst. It hurts when you breathe.

Who is the best ever ventriloquist?
[Baffled] Ventriloquist? I wouldn’t know. Was Rod Hull a ventriloquist? Or do they have to talk to be a ventriloquist?

Emu didn’t talk.
Keith Harris and Orville, then.

[There’s a massive background commotion at Chez Claridge]

It sounds like mayhem there, Steve. What’s occuring?
I’ve just been taking the little ‘un to the doctors to have her injections, and she’s not getting enough attention. She’s gone red in the cheeks. [To baby] 'Ello gorgeous!

Are you on nappy duty?
I’m up every hour through the night. I don’t mind. My missus needs her sleep.

Ever made a hoax phone call?
Yeah, to Dean Windass. I was pretending to be the chairman of a club that was interested in him. It went on for five minutes. He was ready to sign, so I started to feel sorry for him.

Any good Barry Fry swearing stories?
When Kev Francis signed for Birmingham for £800,000, we lost his debut 3-0. Kev played badly and Barry went insane. He looked at him and said: “800 f**king grand? What’s the number for the f**king Stockport chairman? Get the c**t on the phone, sell this c**t back to him for £800.”

You must have had loads of nicknames. Which was the best?
I got called Cleggy at Aldershot, after the bloke from Last Of The Summer Wine.

Are you a fan of the Yorkshire sitcom?
I don’t mind it.

Be honest: it’s s**t.
It’s gone downhill since Cleggy left.

Interview: Nick Moore. From the August 2009 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe!