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When I Was A Kid: Clayton Lewis

12 June 2018

As featured in our programme last season, Jamie White found out more about the background of New Zealand international Clayton Lewis…

What’s the earliest memory in football you can remember?
CL: I think it would be when I watched my father play, when I was about two or three. 

Has your father been the biggest influence in football?
CL: Yeah, he has definitely been the one that coached me quite a bit. My mum played as well so she has also had a good influence as well. 

Where did you grow up?
CL: In Wellington, the capital city.

What was it like growing up in New Zealand as a footballer? 
CL: It was different because it was all about rugby. When you want to be a footballer, and all you see on the news was rugby, it was difficult. 

Who did you support?
CL: My father and I both supported Liverpool. We used to get up early in the morning to watch them. I will now be supporting Auckland City, my former club. I had two years with them and they’ve helped a lot with my progress to help get to where I am today. 

Did you go to many matches growing up?
CL: Not too many. We’ve only got one professional team, Wellington Phoenix. I was really the biggest fan of them. 

How different is it to football in England?
CL: The people over here are crazy about football and that’s what I love about being here. The intensity and transition from defence to attack is very fast in England. In New Zealand, you would relax on the ball a lot more. 

Who was your football idol?
CL: Steven Gerrard. I’ve always looked up to him and his career. 

Have you always been an attacking midfielder?
CL: Yeah, I’ve always liked being in that position. You can do your defensive work and attacking. I definitely like setting up goals.

Did you have any other interests?
CL: I liked playing basketball, but there were days when I had to pick between the two. I’m not the tallest so I knew I wasn’t going to grow up and become a basketball player. Football was my life. 

Who was your favourite artist/band?
CL: I like artists like Bruno Mars and Chris Brown. It’s going to sound bad, but I quite like Westlife as well.

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