Past Player Memories Part 5 – Alan Whiter.

Nicknames – The Rash/Huge Backwheels/Big Arse

Ruts Appearances – 321 (Including 1 this Season!)

Ruts Goals – 95

Question 1 – When did you join the Old Ruts and why?

The legend and visionary manager Howard ‘H’ Meredith made a big money approach just as my professional career was about to take off, I think 2001 or 2002. He hounded me for months and finally persuaded me to sign with a tour of the OR’s stadium, facilities and training complex. It was the communal bath that did it for me. As a Rutlish boy it was great to start playing with a lot of my good mates again and although the football on the pitch was good, it was the laugh we all had off of the pitch that made it such a special place to play.

Question 2 – What was your most memorable match and why?

Maybe a Cup Final where some bright spark decided to bring a stereo in to the changing room before hand and give it the big-un pumping out the tunes, I think it was DJ Polar Bear aka Dave Cundy! We had never done that before and we looked like right twats. Then we played like s… and lost 1-0.

Or the Surrey Cup Semi Final in 2007 in which Ryan Brown and Scott Ryder got sent off, one for tripping the other, Brown then got two yellows, as did Steve Nash and we played most of the match with 8 players.

Or the Charity match when we beat the Chelsea legends 5-1 and they were moaning at half time as we were being too physical with them!

Question 3 – Who was the best Manager/Captain you played under?

Too many, Brian Kerwick, Jimmy Bolton, Peter Heyne, Clayts and H as managers. Captain, probably the housewives favourite, Philly Rea, or The Beast.

Question 4 – Your funniest Ruts Football Memory.

Where do I start, maybe Blommers trying to explain his ‘spare man theory’ to the team during a corner we were defending in the last seconds of a match. Basically he would be the spare man up the pitch and when we got the ball, we would play it to him and he would score, he then ran off up the pitch. They took the corner and the bloke who he was supposed to be defending scored. When we asked him about it after the match, he tried to explain why his spare man theory was flawed, he ran around in circles with his fingers in his ears shouting ‘I’m not listening!’

Or being on tour in Lloret de Mar, I mean Barcelona, and H speaking ‘Dutch’ the whole weekend and doing his best dance moves, basically just going down on one knee for ages, everywhere we went. We were all doing it by the last night. So simple, but so effective at pissing off the locals. Then on the same tour after two days of drinking, going straight to the match after a night out. It was baking hot and the other team where warming up as we got off the coach, they all looked fit as f…, so all 30 of us volunteered to be subs. We only lost 2-1 though! Probably one where you had to be there for.

Or the time Maddy was waiting for us in the hotel reception at 3am after a night out on tour in Manchester, he was trying to tell us how we should be more professional and not go out drinking. The next day we smashed the tournament and he loved us again!

Question 5 – What is your least favourite Ruts Football Memory?

Two stand out, either the time when some arsehole came to pre-season training, played a couple of matches then went off injured early in the season and nicked all our valuables and did the offs in Steve Nicola’s car. Or the time that it all kicked off when the oppo and their supporters started attacking a Ruts player and the police blocked off Poplar Road.

Question 6 – Best Player you ever played with for the Ruts?

Far too many to mention, Phil ‘razor/meathead’ Rea, Richard ‘The Beast’ Lines, Boony, Jonny ‘fittest man on earth’ Woods, Trig, Raggs, Scottie Ryder, H, Knotty, Wally, Murph, Higgy, Skeetsy, Terry McG etc etc. but the one who is head and shoulders above them all is the one and only, Matt ‘mad dog’ Blomeley. He had everything, vision, pace, leadership qualities, loved a tackle, fanastic footballing brain and always giving everything for the team. He will tell you himself, players like Steve Finnan wouldn’t have made it to the Premier League and won the UCL without him. The Ruts very own Luis Figo, as Matt liked to call himself!

Question 7 – Favourite Goal you scored or were part of in the build up?

Well far too many to remember! One of my favourites was against Oxted, I chipped the keeper from outside the box. Or a header playing for the vets against, Grafton. It was 3-3 after a hard but fairish match, apart from Del getting in a bit of bother with their manager/ref. The ‘ref’ played about 10 minutes extra time, unheard of in a vets match as all we wanted to do was get in the bar, in the hope that they would get the winner, but then we broke down the right and I made a last ditch lung busting run into the box to power a header home, the ‘ref’ immediately blew for full time!

Question 8 – Most embarrassing moment in a Ruts Shirt? (Playing or Socially)

Probably the first two matches I mentioned in question 2. Or rounding the keeper and putting the ball wide from about two yards, I still blame the dodgy pitch!!