Player Of The Month May 2010



This month we are grateful to Chris Hargreaves for taking the time to answer the 15 questions we put to him.

Q:  What was your most memorable match for Plymouth Argyle?
A:  Reading versus Plymouth in the F. A cup, I had been struggling a bit after a dislocated shoulder and on the day was having a bit of a stinker.  Fortunately the ball dropped to me with five minutes to go and I spanked it in the top corner, 25 yards, half volley.  I took my shirt off and ran around the goal where the 3000 travelling Argyle fans were.  My brother was in the stand that day and said that someone with a Hargreaves shirt on jumped on him when I scored.  I was more pleased about that!
Q:  Who was the best Argyle player you played with?
A:  Probably one of the old school, Steve McCall or ‘Chopsy'.  They both moaned a lot (as I do now!) but were good footballers.  I used to enjoy hammering opposing midfielders when I played with ‘Chopsy'.  One lad had a go at Chopsy saying he was rubbish (and a few other words !!)  He was actually running rings round the lad in question but anyway I shouted back to this lad “Hold on mate your rubbish and your ugly, and who cut your hair, your mum!”  The lad visibly collapsed of confidence, me and Chopsy were in stitches, especially when he got dragged off with twenty minutes to go!  It's a harsh game!
Q:  Who was your toughest opponent?
A:  At Plymouth it was definitely Jon Ashton, but in training!  He was that clumsy he could take you out with a flying tackle without even knowing he had done it.  In fact in the end he was banned from training on Friday mornings in case he nobbled any of the team!  He really could knock a wine glass over in the middle of a football field with no players on it and a massive white sign saying AVOID THE WINE.  Away from Plymouth it is either Juniho or Ronaldo, both brilliant on the ball, strong and brave.
Q:  You must have an amusing story you could share with us about your time at Argyle?
A:  I have so many on and off the pitch.  The ones off the pitch will have to remain on lock down but rooming with Paul McGregor was certainly a challenge.  If I survived the half a can of hairspray on the Friday night he would make sure he finished me off with the rest of the can before the game.  His hair was a work of art.  It was like a salon in there.  To be honest though when we stayed away I think the hotel staff thought we were the night time entertainment such was the amount of hair and bizarre array of clothing on show.
Another very funny sight was seeing my old manager Kevin Hodges try to motivate the team one afternoon.  We were playing Darlington away and Hodgy was on the side of the pitch whilst we warmed up just before the game.  He was obviously very wound up with adrenaline and nervous energy because he suddenly clapped his hands and shouted “Come on Darlington.”  What chance have you got!!!!!  You should have seen the faces on some of the Darlington players!
Q:  If you could invite 5 celebrities around for dinner who would it be and why?
A:  I will get them from this country to be realistic and alive as there is no good saying Elvis, Ghandi, and Napoleon so here goes.  Louis Spence - He would have to serve the drinks in backless leather trousers and Nigella Lawson would be doing the food and chatting to me in the kitchen.  Justin Lee Collins – Just a great bloke.  Fern Cotton – You may think a strange choice but I think she is a good laugh and her best friend is Holly Willoughby and so they come as one.  Last but not least there would be a bit of music from Dizzy Rascal.  Come on it's a party!!!!
Q:  Can you recall your most embarrassing moment?
A:  At Plymouth it was walking down the tunnel with no shorts on and in my career it involved a slight accident on the pitch!
Q:  How has football changed over the years?
A:  It has changed in a huge way from the camaraderie of team baths and being able to pass the ball back to the keeper, to the Range Rover sport generation and the multi million pound deals.  It has become incredibly ruthless, as have the players, but the pressure and pace of the game has increased no end.  I would love to do it all differently now.  As a young lad I certainly wouldn't be in the pub after training every day.
Q:  Who was the best manager you ever played under?
A:  Ernie Dade – Clee Borough F.C.  We were the best team in the area, he was the best manager and I got a Mars Bar for every goal I scored!  I got fifty goals one season!!!!!!
Q:  What was your pre-match routine? E.g. lucky item, superstitions.
A:  I used to have so many but now it's to mess about with the children, take a few happy pills, drink a strong coffee and finally see the physio for some much needed pre-match rebuilding and TLC!  One player I recently played with had to pretend to eat a bag of peanuts before he went out.  Now that is worrying!
Q:  Do you keep in touch with any of your former Argyle teammates? If so, who?
A:  I have spoken to most of the lads over the years, you tend to bump into players you have played with, either at games, or at events but as this is such a Nomadic lifestyle you inevitably lose touch.  If I saw them all tomorrow though it would be like old times.  Macca is still trying to get onto Top of the Pops, Gibbo reckons he has made his first million but also says he has about five credit cards full to the max and Maxi, well he is just Maxi.  Although I didn't play with him at Plymouth I speak to Lee Hodges a bit, he is a top lad as is the Ghoul Stevie Adams.  I called him ‘The Ghoul' when he came to Torquay and it stuck.  I couldn't believe it when ‘Hodgy' said his nickname at Argyle was ‘The Ghost'!  How unlucky is that.  Like Hodgy though Stevie is a good player and a great lad.
Q:  Do you think England will do well in the World Cup?
A:  Harsh but after another long season I just want to forget about football altogether as does my wife!  For the long suffering British public I hope so although I'm not sure the image of England's players will have helped the nation's patience levels.
Q:  If you could choose any player in the world you would have liked to have played with, who would it be?
A:  The old Ronaldo at his peak.  Give him the ball and relax!
Q:  Do you follow Argyle's progress or attend any of their matches?
A:  I have always followed their results since I left the club.  I have really enjoyed co-commentating on the games for the BBC and hope to do so in the future.  Hopefully again in the Championship very soon.
Q:  What is your favourite type of music?
A:  Anything that hasn't been on the teams pre-match CD for the last 10 months, and anything but Euro pop.
Q:  What would be the highlight of your time at Argyle?
A:  I honestly enjoyed the whole time, great people, great club.  Plus scoring one of the best goals of my career.