Theo Walcott: Talentspotter

The England speedster sat down with FourFourTwo in February 2006 after his exciting breakthrough at Southampton. 

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Some of the younger lads call me ‘Tiger’ after Mr Woods. They say I look like him a bit – that’s where the resemblance ends I’m afraid!

Team supported
I was a Liverpool fan, because my dad followed them. I wasn’t alive during their golden era, but I enjoyed watching the likes of Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman. When Liverpool won the Champions League, I went mad. I was shouting so loud I think I woke up the entire village!

My touch, awareness and pace. At school I cleaned up in the 100 and 200 metres and before I left, I broke the 100m record with a time of 11.5 seconds. For Berkshire Schools, I was ranked in the top two for my age but it was always going to be football for me.

My left foot. It’s so beneficial at this level to be able to use either foot, so it’s something I’m working on. I could also do a lot better with my heading.

I play a bit like...
You can’t compare me with the best striker in the world, but I suppose I do play the game in a similar way to Thierry Henry. I like to drift out wide and use my pace to wrong-foot opponents.

Making my debut against Wolves earlier in the season. I came on as a sub for Kenwyne Jones and it almost became my most embarrassing moment because I’d forgotten to put my shirt on! Fortunately one of the backroom staff noticed, but once I got out there I enjoyed myself and created a few chances.

Losing the FA Youth Cup Final to Ipswich, having won 16 games on the bounce prior to the final, was very disappointing. So was our England U17 showing at the European Championship. We were knocked out at the group stage, having lost to Italy.

Toughest opponent
Charlton left-back Jonathan Spector. I played against him in a reserve team game and he gave as good as he got.

Best advice given
When I first started playing for the first team, Harry Redknapp always told me to do the things that got me into the squad in the first place. Since then I’ve just played my natural game and have been playing with confidence.

Club joker
Danny Higginbotham is always messing about and is a really good laugh. Although we don’t have an initiation ceremony at Saints, I did wake up on the way home from our away trip to Hull to find my face covered in Jaffa Cakes. I still haven’t found out who the culprit was.

I’ve still got a couple of months before I can start taking lessons! Mind you, I’ve already got my eyes on an Audi A3 – a nice, steady car to start off with.

Aside from my girlfriend, it would have to be Angelina Jolie. I saw her in Mr & Mrs Smith recently and that Brad Pitt is a lucky guy!

Mr & Mrs Smith, for the above reason!

What’s on your iPod?
I listen mainly to hip-hop and R’n’B, like Jay-Z and Usher.

Tell us something we don’t know about you
I played for Swindon under-11s for half a season and I remember we played one tournament in Cardiff and because it was on Astroturf, not grass, I had to play in my shoes!

TV programme
Two Guys And A Girl. It’s a sitcom about three friends who share an apartment in Boston. As it’s on Trouble, a lot of people probably haven’t seen it. It’s similar to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

With my first pay packet I bought...
Some new clothes. If I remember rightly it was an Armani suit and a pair of Timberlands. I have to add that I didn’t try them on together!

If I hadn’t been a footballer...
I’d have gone into athletics. You’ve got to utilise the things you are good at and as I’m fast I’d have channelled all my energies into sprinting.

Describe yourself in five words
Pacey, skilful, determined, family-orientated and handsome!

From the February 2006 issue of FourFourTwo.