Michael Whitfield - Q&A

Living now: Seaham
Born: 1962
Occupation now: Gas Engineer


As a youngster, who was the biggest influence on your career?

Schoolteacher, John Campbell.

How did you come to join Sunderland?
Signed as a schoolboy, after being watched by Charlie Ferguson.

How do you remember your Sunderland debut?
Goalkeeper, Chris Turner, fractured his skull after a collision with Keith Berchin of Norwich.

What was your most memorable match as a Sunderland player?
That debut versus Norwich.

And the worst?
Birmingham at home, we lost 2-1.

Which do you consider your best goal for Sunderland?
I didn't score at first team level, but I scored against Newcastle at St James Park in the FA Youth Cup
(we won 2-1).

Who was the best player you player alongside at Sunderland?
Frank Worthington.

Who was the best you played against?
Kevin Arnott, whilst training at SAFC!

What’s the greatest moment of your playing career?
Signing for SAFC, and walking out at Carrow Rd on my debut.

Who do you rate as the best manager you player under?
Mick Docherty.

What was the funniest incident you recall during a game?
During a reserve game at Roker Park, Sam Allardyce broke wind and followed through. He returned later ... with fresh underwear!

What was the best part of being a professional footballer?
Playing for SAFC.

And the worst?
Insecurity at renewal of your contract.

Looking back at your playing career, any regrets?
None.

What did you do as your playing career ended?
Went into mechanical engineering.

What are doing these days?
Gas Engineer.

What’s the most important thing in your life at present?
My wife & family.

Favourites

Team (as a kid) - SAFC
Boyhood footballing idol - George Best
Best friend in football - Mark Prudhoe
Favourite ground (other than Roker) - Elland Rd
Favourite [former] premiership player - Ronaldo
Favourite current premiership manager - Roy Keane
Singer - Freddie Mercury
Film star - Sean Connery
Film - Shawshank Redemption
TV programme - The Royle Family
Past-time (except football) - Golf
Food - Mexican
Holiday - Florida

If you could meet one person in the world, who would it be?
The guy who presents the cheque to the Lotto winner!