Andy Hunt was a Professional footballer for 10 years in England, we spoke football with Andy.
Andy Hunt played for Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion and finally for Charlton Athletic Football Club, scoring 135 goals in 361 appearances for his respective teams. Including scoring at Wembley Stadium in West Bromwich Albion’s promotion season (1992/1993), plus finishing league top scorer in Charlton’s Division 1 Championship season (1999/2000).
Andy’s goal tally was 14 for Newcastle, 85 for WBA and 36 for Charlton Athletic.
Where were your first pair of football boots from?
My Mum bought me a pair of red football boots (can’t remember the brand). We had to pick them up from my house in the school bus with all the other players from the school team. I was a bit embarrassed because they were red. But we went straight to the game and I scored 13 goals so you don’t really get embarrassed after that.
Were you a boot boy?
No, I didn’t turn professional until I was 20, so I skipped that stage.
How important, during your career, was getting the right football boots?
It’s not vital, but it does help to have football boots that feel “right”. They have to be comfortable.
Did you turn any sponsorship deals away?
I had a few companies asking me to wear stuff for them. ASICS was one of them and they actually made good football boots. I wore their football boots for a while, but being sponsored didn’t concern me.
All football boots (studs and moulds) feel different and I would wear the pair that felt right for me.
It didn’t matter if it was Adidas, Puma, Umbro, etc.
It’s harder to buy an old fashioned black boot these days, what do you think of colourful boots?
The only thing I can say about these football boots is you’d better be a good player, because you really stand out wearing these boots, and I’ve seen players get a lot of harassment and jibbing from the fans for wearing these football boots. Probably best left to the worlds best players I think.
What was your greatest moment as a footballer?
Scoring at Wembley in the Play Off Final for West Brom v Port Vale.
Also, although it wasn’t a “moment”, I am very proud of winning the Div 1 Championship with Charlton Athletic in 99/00 and becoming the league top scorer.
How was your relationship with your managers?
Generally very good. As I got older I was able to approach managers and discuss things with them about my game and what they expected of me. I played for a few very good managers/coaches and a few very bad ones but it’s always good to be able to talk to them outside of the training ground environment.
What was the best dressing room prank you can remember happening?
Nailing Steve Lillwalls ancient trainers to the dressing room floor.
At West Brom Steve was not known for dapper dress sense and his trainers were falling apart. At the time Steve was being courted by Liverpool (so the press led us to believe) and we kept telling him to buy a new pair of trainers to look the part.
In the end we nailed his trainers to the floor and the whole dressing room waited with anticipation as he grabbed the trainers, only to find them stuck to the ground. Our coach Keith Burkinshaw was not amused, although in the scheme of things it was a tame stunt.
Was there a drinking culture at any of your clubs?
Yes and I was a part of it. I never played a competitive game after drinking, but I did train many times with a hangover.
Have you considered getting back into football?
A few times. And I still consider it now. I own and manage a resort in Belize (www.belizejungledome.com) and have done a lot of management training.
Managing a football club appeals to my competitive spirit but on the other hand it’s such a difficult and thankless task that I don’t think it is tempting enough.
The problem is that everyone wants to win but only one team can win every year. Look at the aggravation Ferguson and Mourinho get if they lose a couple of games. And they are the best at their jobs.
Football is full of paradoxes. Although you can win, you just can’t win, because as the old saying goes, getting sacked is inevitable. I just don’t think I am cut out for this ultra competitive life. I am more attracted to youth football, or setting up an academy, which would be more fulfilling for me.
Would you like to get into football media?
I am. Read my blog: http://escribbler.blogspot.com/. The Guardian newspaper were taking feeds from my blog through theWorld Cup and lots of bloggers use some of my feeds and articles.
If you could rewind the clock, is there anything you’d do differently?
Avoided the Drinking Culture!
Andy now manages 2 websites for the Belize Jungle Dome including www.greendragonbelize.com and www.belizejungledome.com plus writing the Belize Jungle Dome Adventure Travel Blog and Escribbler Football, Sports and Travel Blog.