Marco Gabbiadini - Q&A

Living now: York
Born: 1968
Occupation now: Hotelier


As a youngster, who was the biggest influence on your career?
Parents (for their support).

How did you come to join Sunderland?
The Denis Smith & Viv Busby connection, from York City.

How do you remember your Sunderland debut?
A disappointing home defeat vs Chester!

What was your most memorable match as a Sunderland player?
SAFC vs the mags, play-off semi. Also, the first game in division I against Norwich (and my first goal in the top flight!).

And the worst?
Play-off final! (Swindon Town at Wembley).

Which do you consider your best goal for Sunderland?
That one I mentioned against Norwich (25-8-90 at Carrow Rd).

Who was the best player you player alongside at Sunderland?
Eric Gates - a legend at the top level who managed a few extra years which we both enjoyed for various reasons!

Who was the best you player against?
As a marker, Adams or Keown. As a player, Cantona or Zola.

What’s the greatest moment of your playing career?
I never had a true cup-final moment, but I was player of the season six times at various clubs.

Who do you rate as the best manager you player under?
Jim Smith.

What was the funniest incident you recall during a game?
Gordon Armstrong trying to “moonwalk” after scoring at Leicester, not easy with studs on!

What was the best part of being a professional footballer?
Matchday. Later (as a family man) it was the time I was able to spend with my children.

And the worst?
Poor managers who couldn’t handle pressure, plus everything being over at such a young age (compared to other careers).

Looking back at your playing career, any regrets?
No.

What did you do as your playing career ended?
We’d bought the hotel in anticipation of “the end” being near.

What are doing these days?
The same.

What’s the most important thing in your life at present?
Deborah & the kids - same as ever.

Favourites

Team (as a kid) - York city, Nottingham Forest
Boyhood footballing idol - Bryan Robson
Best friend in football - Paul Simpson
Favourite ground (other than Roker) - Highbury & Anfield
Favourite current premiership player - Gerrard
Favourite current premiership manager - Sam Allardyce (keeping it real)
Singer - Paul Weller
Film star - Peter Sellars
Film - Toy Story
TV programme - none, but I do hate Big Brother
Past-time (except football) - Horse riding
Food - Deborah’s home-made Indian curry
Holiday - our apartment in Spain

If you could meet one person in the world, who would it be?
The man who hands out the cheques at Camelot!