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Ex-Everton and West Ham midfielder Mark Ward is on the spot in Sportsmail's: It's top secret!
Published : 12 Dec 2010 20:22:16Rss feed
In the latest offering of Sportsmail's 'It's top secret' series, Ex-Everton and West Ham midfielder Mark Ward is on the spot... WHO IS YOUR SPORTING HERO? Kevin Keegan. Even though I was an Evertonian and he played for Liverpool, he was the best player in Europe. He was also small, like me, so I had a special affection for him. In the thick of it: Ward had a 'special affection' for Keegan WHAT WOULD YOU BE IF YOU WEREN'T A SPORTSMAN? I dread to think. I knew nothing other than football. Even when I was playing part-time, I didn't have a regular job. I suppose I would have ended up in the building trade, which is where I am now. When I came out of prison (for drug-related offences), the one person who took a gamble on me was a guy called Paul Hill, who gave me a job at his company, GB Building Solutions. I owe him so much. I only wish I'd met him five years earlier. CAREER HIGHLIGHT? Scoring two goals on my home debut for Everton against Arsenal in 1991. I've scored at Wembley and in Merseyside derbies but that topped everything. I was rejected at Goodison Park aged 18 for being too small, and almost 10 years later to the day, I was back there scoring two goals against the champions on debut. AND THE WORST MOMENT? Being relegated with West Ham in 1989. Three years earlier we'd had one of the best teams in the club's history. It led to John Lyall being sacked, and that signalled the end of my time there. IF YOUR HOUSE WAS BURNING DOWN, WHAT ONE POSSESSION WOULD YOU SAVE? I can honestly say that I don't possess anything of any value that I would be bothered about saving. I know people might not believe that, but it's true. I went into prison with nothing and I came out with nothing. WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN? In my first week at West Ham, Alvin Martin pulled me aside and warned me that the fans at Upton Park would destroy me if they saw me giving less than 100 per cent. I took it to heart. FAVOURITE KARAOKE SONG? Summertime, the George Gershwin classic. It's my party piece. LAST FILM YOU SAW? One that I was in! It's called The Ballad Of Dixie And Kenny, and I've got a cameo role in it, along with a few other former Liverpool and Everton players. YOUR FAVOURITE HOLIDAY?It's certainly not to Walton Prison! I'd say Mauritius or the Cayman Islands. IN A FILM OF YOUR LIFE WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO PLAY YOU? I've been mistaken a few times for Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty) but I don't think I look like him. When I came out of prison, there was some talk of a film being made about my story, and Perry Fenwick (Billy from Eastenders, above) told me he'd love to play me. East-end boy: Perry Fenwick says he'd 'love' to play Ward in a film TELL US A SECRET... I once shot the Pope. At the Everton fancy dress Christmas party in 1992, I grabbed a replica gun from someone dressed as a cowboy. Barry Horne, who had come as the Pope, was standing nearby and asked me to shoot him. So I pointed the gun at his chest, pulled the trigger and then Barry was on the floor, on fire. The gun was real and it had a bullet in it. Luckily it was a blank, designed to crumble on impact, and he only ended up with a massive bruise. If I'd pointed it at his head, though, it could have killed him. Mark Ward was at an event organised by Eclipse Sports Promotions (www.eclipsesportspromotions.co.uk). His autobiography, Hammered, is now out in paperback, published by John Blake and priced at £7.99 Explore more:People: John Lyall, Robert Carlyle, Kevin Keegan, Mark Ward, Alvin Martin Places: Liverpool, Mauritius, Europe