Interview with Neil Wainwright

June 15, 2011 by  

This interview with Neil Wainwright was done over email on 12th January 2011, originally for the Fanzine that didn’t end up getting published. No point in it going to waste! The first question is in relation to the LDP petition and the support Neil was giving it over Twitter.

RP: What do you make of all that is going in on with the racecourse? (Bare in mind this will probably go to print a week or two before its sold so things may have changed by then). – Ended up being published 6 months later, shocking on my behalf!- Bill

NW: As soon as I saw what was going on with the Racecourse, obviously the first thing I felt was shock at the situation and also puzzled at to why someone would want to do that in the first place. Unfortunately, football has found out a lot lately that there are people out there willing to exploit it for their own ends.

RP: What was it like starting your career at Wrexham?

NW: It was amazing to start my career at Wrexham, it’s a club with such a great history and my debut for the club is something I’ll never forget. I was also lucky to have the support of the fans who were superb to me in my time there.

RP: Who had the biggest impact on you as a footballer? Both here and in general.

NW: Obviously my parents have always been there to support me and I probably wouldn’t have made it without them. On a football level, Joey Jones was a major factor in my early development and probably the person who has had the single biggest impact on the way I play. Everyone at Wrexham really, from Mike Buxton and Cliff Sear to Brian Flynn and Kevin Reeves, they all helped in certain ways, as I think those early years are the most important part of a player’s development.

RP: How did it feel going from making a few appearances at a lower league club, to suddenly being bought for a tidy sum by a premier league club?

NW: It was surreal at first. One minute I find myself making my League debut, then months later meeting Peter Reid and have Kenny Dalglish ring me. It was a dream come true. It never entered my head that anything like that would happen and it was just a once in a lifetime opportunity for me.

RP: In hindsight does you feel you left Wrexham too early in your career, or was it the right move for you?

NW: Looking back, I’d make the same decision again. I would have liked to have played more for Wrexham but I also think that you maybe only get that one chance to play for a club like Sunderland. If I’d stayed then the opportunity may never have come again.

RP: What would your advice be for the current young stars, who may be tempted by the bright lights of the Premiership/Championship or their associated academies?

NW: I would just tell them to think seriously about any decison, make sure they discuss it with as many trusted people as possible but if their heart is telling them something that strongly then maybe that is the way to go.

RP: What part did Andy Marriott play in you Leaving? it was rumoured at the time that Marriotts agent had tapped you up?

NW: All Andy did was introduce me to a guy at the time who he said could help me out. I’ve never signed a contract with any agent in my career, although I have used their advice on occasion. I think it was maybe a way of Andy just looking out for a young lad who needed a bit of guidan

RP: What was your favourite moment in a Wrexham shirt? Perhaps the goal against Walsall?

NW: My favourite moment in a Wrexham shirt without doubt would be my last minute winner at Bloomfield Road on my League debut. it is still my favourite goal of my career for so many reasons. Games against Wimbledon, Millwall and Walsall would be high on the list too though.

RP: What has been your proudest moment as a football player?

NW: Again, my proudest moment is probably my debut goal. So much significance on the result, what it represented for me of my dream to be a professional, and the quality of the goal too. Elsewhere, it’s every time a crowd sings my name, i don’t think you can get many better feeling than that in football.

RP: Do you ever read fan forums to see what people are saying about you? Do you know any players that do?

NW: The first experience I had with football club messageboards was at Darlington. It’s one I’ve read from time to time, and still do. It is just like reading a paper or having a reaction from the crowd really, you can’t take too much too seriously otherwise you’d go crazy. For every 9 out of 10 performance, there is always someone out there who would disagree and give you a 3 at best.


Cheers for that Neil! You can follow him on Twitter @wainy11 he’s well worth a follow, and definitely one of the better footballers on there. You can follow me on Twitter too, for updates on the latest blogs and general Wrexham stuff- @bill_redpassion (shameless plug).