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Kevin Phillips says Glenn Roeder was a ‘big inspiration’ in his career

Soccer – Carling Cup fourth round – Watford v Newcastle – Vicarage Road
(Image credit: Chris Young)

Kevin Phillips has credited Glenn Roeder for setting him on the path to a successful career.

Roeder, the former West Ham, Newcastle and Watford manager, died on Sunday aged 65.

Phillips was signed for Watford from non-league Baldock Town by Roeder and went on to make 263 Premier League appearances, score 92 goals and win eight England caps.

“If it wasn’t for Glenn I wouldn’t have had the career I did,” Phillips told Watford’s website.

England/Sweden 32

Kevin Phillips went on to play for England (PA)

“He gave me the opportunity and the chance to live my dream and so I will be forever grateful. He was there when I lost my dad and convinced me to carry on playing football. He was a big inspiration for me.”

Former England goalkeeper David James was a team-mate of Roeder’s at Watford and later played under him at West Ham.

James said: “He was a wonderful, wonderful man. He was very helpful to me as a player and helped start the careers of other team-mates during that period.

“He was funny at times, serious at others and knew how to get that mix right. He was a wonderful human being and he’ll be greatly missed. It’s a terribly sad day.”

West Ham David James

Glenn Roeder and David James were together at West Ham (PA)

Former Hornets right-back Nigel Gibbs also told the club website of his respect for his ex-team-mate and manager.

He said: “When he came to Watford as a player he brought his experience and this really helped me as a player.

“He was a master of reading the game, always in the right place, intercepting attacks and clearing the danger.

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“Glenn was a top player and had his trademark stepover that he could do so well. Everyone knew he was going to do it but still couldn’t stop it! He had a fantastic long career.

“When he became manager unfortunately it was the time I was injured for a long period.

“He was very supportive of me at this difficult time, always making sure I was involved and making sure I was OK during that period.

“I really appreciated that and that typified Glenn as a man. It’s such sad news. He was a real gentleman and a football man.”