For the next instalment in our #20QuestionsWith series, we catch up with Chris Lines to find out more about our midfielder...
1) What’s your first footballing memory, either playing or watching?
“I can still remember my first actual game when I was really young. We were only playing 6-aside at that age and I was in defence. The ball was rolling towards me and I just kicked it as far and as hard as I could. It actually fell kindly for our striker and he went on to score, so my first touch in my first game was an assist!”
“Both of my parents have been really important for me, especially when I was younger. I lost my Dad when I was 18 so I’ve not been able to have his influence over the last 15 years or so, but they were huge for me when I was growing up. They’d take me to training and games which helped build the foundations for my career.
“Bristol Rovers were really good for me too, that’s where I signed my first professional contract and they were patient with me and my development. I wasn’t the biggest at 19-20 years old, particularly for League Two standard, but their faith in me paid off in the end.”
3) Which player(s) inspired you the most whilst growing up?
“Steven Gerrard. For me, he’s the most all-round midfield player. He could do anything. Any attribute you wanted, he had. Tackling, running, goal scoring, leadership – he had it all.”
4) If you could re-invent yourself as a player in a different position, where would you play?
“I quite like the full-back role at the moment, to be fair. They’re like the modern-day playmaker! You look at Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson at Liverpool. Not too many teams play with wingers any more because full-back’s have developed a lot, so I’d like to play there and get on the ball spraying passes around.”
5) Who’s the best player you’ve played with?
“When I was at Sheffield Wednesday, we had Ross Barkley on loan. He’s certainly the best I’ve played with. I’ve also played against Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge when they were at Chelsea.”
6) Do you have any pre-match superstitions/routines?
“I’ve got loads! If we’ve won the previous game, I’ll do everything exactly the same in the build-up to the next game. I’ll always eat the same food on a Friday, I’ll have the same routine on a Saturday morning and take the same route to the ground. I always leave my right boot undone as we walk out on to the pitch, and then just before kick-off I’ll tie it up. I’m not sure where that came from, I think I was rushing to get ready one game and went on to score a really good goal, so I’ve carried it on ever since!”
7) Away from football, are you interested in any other sports?
“I don’t really watch much football outside of our own games. Most of our days off are spent with my kids. I’m a big fan of horse racing, too. Whenever there’s a racing event on I’m glued to the TV.”
8) At school, what was your favourite and least favourite subject?
“P.E was good. My least favourite was maths.”
9) If you could travel to a place you’ve never visited before, where would you go?
“I’d like to go to Bora Bora one day. It’s a bit of a long flight but it’s certainly something I want to do one day.”
10) If you were stuck in a lift with a current Northampton team-mate, who would you like it to be?
“To be stuck with, I’d my Vadaine Oliver. He’s my roommate on away days and we knew each other previously from our Sheffield days. We’ve got quite a lot in common in terms of the films we like and the food we eat so that’ll be straight forward.”
11) Who has the worst banter in the squad?
“Everyone’s pretty good to be fair. There are four or five lads that have got their own little bit of banter going on. Everyone contributes differently in the changing room.”
12) What’s your speciality in the kitchen?
“Anything vegetarian, really. I’ve spent the last 2-3 years cutting out meat. I just cook for myself on the night I’m not staying back at home, so I try and mix it up with a few different dishes.”
13) Do you have any hobbies outside of football?
“Spending time with my family and watching horse racing. My little girl does a bit of horse riding. We’ve got a few lads in the team that know a bit about their racing so that helps. Maybe when I stop playing, I’ll look to get involved in going to more races and looking at shares in horses.”
14) What’s your favourite film?
“I don’t think I could pick one, I prefer watching different series/box sets to be fair.”
15) If you weren’t a professional footballer, which route would you have gone down?
“Before I was a professional footballer I was learning a few trades and doing some labouring, so I possibly would’ve looked at setting up my own business working on those sorts of things.”
16) Which Netflix/TV series would you recommend watching?
“Money Heist on Netflix, that’s really good.”
17) It’s your turn on the karaoke, which song do you choose?
“R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly.”
18) You’re stuck on a desert island, which three items do you take with you?
“My phone, food and fizzy orange Lucozade!”
19) Do you have any pets, and if so which ones?
“No, just two kids that act like pets at times!”
20) If you could pass on some advice to a younger player, what would it be?
“A good tip quite I like is – ‘anything worth having is worth working hard for’. I’d also explain my journey to them as I faced a lot of ups and downs myself in becoming a professional footballer, so it could be something they can relate to and take some confidence from.”