For each edition of Parklife, a different young sports group quizzes a Blues star. This week, Holy Trinity Rangers grill Garry Thompson!1) Who is the most famous goalkeeper you’ve scored against? (From Toby Chapman, aged 13)
I’d have to say Wojciech Szczesny at Arsenal. It was the League Cup quarter-final when I was at Bradford and put a left-footed volley past him into the far corner. The game finished 1-1 and we beat them on penalties.
2) What’s the best goal you’ve scored as a professional? (From Toby Chapman, aged 13)
I’ve been lucky enough to have scored a few! I’ll pick one from each of my clubs – at Morecambe it was the Conference Play-Off Final at Wembley against Exeter, at Scunthorpe it was against Rochdale, at Bradford it was probably that one against Arsenal, at Notts County it was a chest and volley from 25 yards against Peterborough, and here at Wycombe it was my left footed turn and shot against Barnet.
3) If you weren’t a footballer, which Olympic event do you think you’d do best at? (From Brett Smith, aged 13)
It would be either the 100m or 200m. I was really into my athletics at school and those were the events I was best at because I was quite quick. When I was 14 I had to make a choice between football and athletics and I chose football.
4) If the squad went to Thorpe Park for the day, who would bottle all the scary rides? (From Dan Chapman, aged 15)
Me! I’ve got a bit of a fear of heights and things which are moving at heights. Basically anything I’m not in control of. Up north I lived near Blackpool Pleasure Beach but I never went because I couldn’t face the rides!
5) Who’s the best defender you’ve ever played against? (From Dan Chapman, aged 15)
Probably Jose Enrique at Newcastle, when they won the Championship and I was in that league with Scunthorpe. He was quick, powerful and athletic – he had everything and earned his move to Liverpool. I’ve also played against Vincent Kompany but I wasn’t directly up against him, so I’d have to say Enrique.
6) Who was your childhood idol (sporting or otherwise)? (From Christian Hudson, aged 13)
I was discussing this with Bayo the other day actually, and it wasn’t a footballer. I was a massive fan of Michael Johnson, the American sprinter. I was really into my athletics so I looked up to all the sprinters at that time, like Linford Christie as well. In football it would be John Barnes. I’m a big Liverpool fan myself and we play in the same position out wide, so I aspired to play like him.
7) What’s your favourite ground? (From Ben Stoolman, aged 13)
That’s an easy one – Wembley. I’ve been fortunate enough to go there five times with different clubs – once with Morecambe, twice with Scunthorpe and twice with Bradford – and I’ve been a couple of times as a fan as well. It holds a lot of happy memories for me and it’s a breathtaking stadium. When I played there in the League Cup final the stadium was nearly full and the atmosphere was amazing.
8) What are you favourite and least favourite things to do in training? (From Kiel Starkey, aged 13)
I’m not really a fan of the warm-ups to be honest. When I started playing football you used to go out there, run, stretch and play football. Now you have about seven warm-ups before you kick a ball! You need a warm-up before a warm-up before a warm-up. But I love most things about playing football. I’d say the best part of training is crossing and finishing.
9) If you were trapped on a desert island, which three things would you want with you? (From Kiel Starkey, aged 13)
Can I say a mobile phone, so I could call someone to rescue me?! Also I’d want my wife and my dog with me.
10) Apart from mint cake, what’s the best thing about Kendal (Garry’s place of birth)? (From Dave Chapman, aged 46)
Apart from myself?! It’s a nice quiet town, and I’ve got lots of friends and family up there, so it’s where I call home. It’s 10 minutes from the Lake District and I like the quietness of it, where I can just go out for walks with my wife and our dog. It’s got good clean air!
11) Could you give some top advice to the budding strikers in my team? (From Dave Chapman, aged 46)
Don’t be afraid to miss chances. You won’t score them all, so just be brave enough to get yourself in the right position next time and back yourself to score. It’s the same advice I give myself.
Thank you to Holy Trinity Rangers for sending in their questions!