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28 October 2014

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Come On You Rams

Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson

Player profiles: Michael Johnson

We've been getting to know more about the lives of Derby County's players. This week Michael Johnson tells us about his alternative career as a mechanic, his choice of Sunday papers and his love for Eastenders!

If you hadn't become a footballer, what would you have been?

Probably a car mechanic. At the age of fourteen I had work experience to be a mechanic so I'd probably be sitting under a car right now.

So do you repair your own cars then?

Not quite - I never made it that far! From the age of 15, I was going towards football but if that hadn't happened I'd definitely be under a car. I can change a wheel and pump up a flat tyre but that's about it.

Was there ever any doubt that you would become a professional footballer?

Yeah there's always a doubt. Between the ages of 15 -17 when you're leaving school, you don't know which way you're going to lean towards.

But I was fortunate that after a year's YTS at 17, I made my debut and signed professional forms so there wasn't really much time for me to ponder - I was chucked in at the deep end.

Do you have lots of friends at other clubs?

Yeh I've got friends dotted all around the country - and not just at the three clubs I've played for.

Football's a good life, you do meet some interesting people. In the north, south, midlands I've got good friends that I'll keep in contact with after football.

Who do you room with on away trips?

Ian Taylor - the grandad of the club! Me and him get on really well. He passes a lot of wind in the room though. That's his worst habit.

What car do you drive?

It's a Range Rover.

And what music do you have on the car stereo?

Hip-Hop, R 'n' B, a bit of Reggae.

What's your favourite type of food?

West Indian food. Rice and peas - and chicken, rice and curry.

Do they serve it at the club?

Yeah they do. One of the chefs here is married to a West Indian guy and she knows the recipes so she puts a few of them on the menu.

What's your favourite drink?

Pina Colada! Also Orange Juice, drink a lot of that and water. I'm quite healthy - I only have Pina Coladas on a Saturday night - not during the week!

Favourite programmes?

I watch Eastenders. I'm a big big fan.

What's your favourite film?

I would say House Party. It's a classic from the mid-eighties. I do tend to watch that again and again.

Do you take a portable DVD player on away trips?

Yeh I usually take my laptop and watch a few films on the way down and I've got a little Gameboy which passes the time away.

Does the travelling get boring?

Yeh a little bit. It's always nice if you get a journey that gets you there within the hour because by the time you've put on a DVD, you're there. But the ones that take two-and-a-half hours, stuck on a coach, it can get quite annoying.

Who are the biggest characters at the club?

Ian Taylor. Marco Reich is another one. Lee Camp isn't quiet either. So we've got quite a few characters around the changing rooms.

Who's got the worst dress sense at the club?

Definitely Marco Reich! He's got some bad stuff! And Morten's not too far behind either!

What do you plan to do when you retire?

I'd like to travel. I've got family in Jamaica, Canada and the US so I'd like to spend some time travelling. And to keep myself ticking over, I'd go into the property business.

Which sportsmen and women do you admire?

Michael Jordan. I thought he was tremendous. Viv Richards is another one - I love my cricket. For sportswomen, I'd say Kelly Holmes is up there. She did brilliantly against the odds - no-one gave her a chance before the Olympics. Flo-Jo too, back in the day and for me as a youngster watching athletics, I thought she was tremendous.

And you read the papers?

Yes. I read The Sun, the Nottingham Evening Post and of course the Derby Evening Telegraph. My Sunday papers are the Sunday Mirror and the News of the World.

Interview by BBC Radio Derby's Colin Gibson

last updated: 03/01/06
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