Wayne Routledge: Talentspotter

Swansea winger Wayne Routledge talks to FourFourTwo back in September 2003, when he was making waves at Crystal Palace.

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January 7 1985, Sidcup, Kent

5ft 7ins

10st 7lbs

Attacking midfielder

Nothing. I haven’t got any nicknames. Ha, ha. Everybody just calls me Wayne.

Club supported as a boy
Liverpool. John Barnes was my favourite player. He had everything, man. He was skilful, pacy, could use both feet. He used to just get the ball down and go. A bit like me, I guess. I’m trying to get to that level.

Clubs played for
Crystal Palace

I was sent off for two yellows against Watford last season. It wasn’t deserved at all, man. I was fuming.

I’m able to beat people, I’ve got pace, I can cross a good ball, I’m a good finisher.

I’m Superman, man. I don’t give away my weaknesses. You can’t let people know.

Who do you play like?
I couldn’t really say anyone, you know. There’s only one Wayne Routledge.

Breaking into the first team and playing for England. My league debut for Palace in particular. That was just mad, like. I was only 16. That was crazy.

Being injured last season was the worst time. I was out for three months and it was just hell, man. I was just desperate to get playing – I was very up and down.

Biggest influence
Probably my mum. She’s just kept me in line. There’s been loads of people who are helping me harness my talent, but she’s the one who stops me getting too big for my boots. She’s kept me in my place.

Toughest opponent
John Arne Riise, in the FA Cup this year. You could get round him a number of ways but he always got back very quickly. His positional sense is good and he’s really quick.

I haven’t got my licence yet, you know? My test is soon. I’ve got my eye on a Mercedes Coupe.

R’n’B and rap. At the moment I’m listening to a lot of DMX and 50 Cent. That’s what you’ll find in my CD player.

Scarface, Love And Basketball, that sort of thing.

Just relaxing with friends, you know, just doing what every other person of my age would do. Ah, I can’t play golf, man. Golf is just not me. We don’t go together.

Big Brother or I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here?
It’s got to be Big Brother. I never really got into that I’m A Celebrity thing.

Which one person would you choose to be stuck in a lift with?
In a lift?!? Ha, ha. Mmm, Halle Berry.

J-Lo or Beyonce?
Beyonce. She’s just fit. She’s nice. Fine.

Tell us something unusual about yourself…
Something unusual? I’ve got three feet. Ha, ha. Not really. Unusual? Like what, man?

You know, hidden talents, strange birthmarks…
Nah man, I haven’t got any.

Ever been the victim of a team-mate’s practical joke? ?
Er, yeah...

It was one time where we were in away in Italy on tour. They got hold of a fire extinguisher and soaked me up, like. I was in bed. I wasn’t sleeping, but you know when you’ve just relaxed and you're startled? Oh my God!

What would you being doing if you weren’t a footballer?
I don’t know. Still in college, getting A-levels or something. Staying out of trouble. I would probably like to have done something to do with computers. I can work a computer. Do I surf the net?? Of course.

In five years I’ll be...
In the Premiership and in the England squad. You have to want to play in the Premiership!

Interview: Louis Massarella. From the September 2003 issue of FourFourTwo.