AS we recorded Season Two of The Big Interview, one theme tended to stand out above all others: street football. It seemed as though every one of our guests was able to share a memory of being a kid kicking a ball about on the street outside their house, in a nearby field, or simply against the door of a shed so, clearly, we were left with no choice but to bring those childhood tales together and to create a clip show dedicated to street football.
It is perhaps fitting that we begin with a history lesson, as Alex McLeish and Walter Smith recall the carefree days, coming home from school and rushing right back out the door to join in the game they knew was already under way at their local field. Mark Noble also remembers joining every youngster on his street to play a game on a school field behind their houses.
Thomas Hitzlsperger explains how he was able to transform the family farm into a football pitch to rival Wembley and Matt Le Tissier describes the game he made up for himself in his back garden and which honed his technique.
Those were idyllic childhood memories, but street football taught harsh lessons too. Just listen to the testimony of John Collins and Jonny Evans. Benni McCarthy will also take us on to the deadly streets of Cape Town, where playing football meant stopping occasionally to avoid a gangland shooting.
Street football is no longer a glorious part of growing up and, in the final part of this clip show Smith laments its loss, while Neil Lennon argues that the development of youth players is being stifled by too much coaching.
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