The following season was when we started signing to you that ‘we all dream of a team of Alan Tates’ as you spent a lot of it in centre midfield: how did that come about?
I think it come about because I don’t think that Kenny really fancied Roberto for whatever reason, I don’t know. I started the season at right back and then ended up centre mid, right back and centre half. I think he probably liked that I didn’t mind putting myself about, I enjoyed getting stuck in and a tackle, I would give it easy to Robbo or johns who would do something with the ball. By this point my relationship with Kenny had started getting a lot better, he sort of trusted me and I grew to trust him and it was one of them where I enjoyed playing centre mid, I was young, I was fit, I enjoyed getting stuck in.
And did you hurt your neck back then? Watching balls going over your head
It wasn’t too bad in the new stadium, we started to pass the ball a bit more, I got player of the year and so I must have got something right.
I remember the gulf between the lower two leagues from the John Hollins days and I thought that we would really struggle this time too; can you remember what the aim was in that first season in League One?
It hasn’t ever been just to stay up, I think that no matter what league we have been in the aim has always been to threaten the play-offs and that was our aim in our first season in league one and that is what we did.
It was a brilliant season for you personally; winning clubs player of the year! And winning the Autoglass Trophy, is that something which you are proud of to this day?
yeah, any trophy which you get playing professional football, it was the biggest cup competition that realistically we could win at the time and obviously any player of the year awards which you get is amazing. I’m lucky that I have had two with Swansea, one at united and so it’s one of them where you just love winning trophy’s and so anyone which you win is great.
And are you proud of the flag you waved afterwards?
Yeah, I think I have to be. It’s part of the story down here and I am really proud of everything down here. It is something which happened, I got arrested for it but I’m proud of everything which I did for the club.
It’s a part of folk law isn’t it, it is there now
I think it was the most bought photo for a while I think.
What was all that like? It got quite serious didn’t it?
Yeah it blew up massively. I remember being at the Morgan’s hotel for the party afterwards and Martin called me over and said that I was going to be arrested on Tuesday and the game was on the Sunday and so this was Sunday night, they obviously knew where we were Monday and so me and lee have to sign ourselves into Cardiff police station on Tuesday if not they would come and arrest us. So we trained Tuesday and then went straight up to Cardiff to hand ourselves in
So what was that like entering the danger zone of Cardiff the two of you, you were public enemy’s number one and two at this moment?
It wasn’t right in the middle of Cardiff, it was a little police station in the outskirts but on the way up we heard that there were fans waiting outside and all that but we got there and I don’t think anyone knew where it was.
We battered Barnsley in the play-off final. I recall you nearly pinching the winner right at the death? Do you remember that?
Yeah I do. Never been a good finisher but it was one of them, I think about that more than I think of the penalty to be honest, not that it really crosses my mind now but that summer it did.
How hard was not winning promotion to League one to get over? Especially after being so close and deserving to?
it was very hard, I went away and to Fuerteventura and I was walking down the street semi-conscious and there is a big TV and it has my penalty on the screen, obviously showing highlights but like I said, the miss I thought about more than the penalty because a lot better players than me have missed penalties but the one in normal time would have been a great one to score.
You done really well to get there too
Especially that late yeah and pace has never been my forte
It would have been hell of a goal
Yeah it would have, it is one of them. It wasn’t meant to be.
We were never going to win that game on penalties, whenever you batter a side that much and don’t win then the penalties are only going one way
To be fair, their penalties were quality, we were never getting anywhere near them.