Off the field interview: Stefan Ratchford
What would your last meal on Earth be?
I’d probably be a bit boring and go for a steak. A big fillet with peppercorn sauce and some green beans and carrots. Maybe some sweet potato fries, too. I have it cooked medium rare. I’d wash it down with a glass of white wine or two, then go onto the Jack Daniels.
What song do you listen to more than any other?
I have a really random mix of music, I can listen to pretty much anything. I’m not into heavy metal but I can listen to anything from Elvis to Eminem.
Which superpower would you most like to have?
Probably the ability to be invisible. I’d go find Beyonce and see what she’s up to. You can go wherever you want and not be seen.
If you could become any animal, what would you be?
Probably a Great White Shark, just cruising around. No-one is going to try eat me, I can just go around snacking on what I want. I’d probably try to get a few Aussies while I was over there and I suppose eating a big seal would be like eating a big fillet steak, so I’d probably go for one of them, too.
What year would you go to in a time machine?
I think I’d go backwards to start with. You hear about all this in the 1960s and 70s, so I would probably go back there. On the other hand I suppose it would be interesting going to the future and seeing what’s out there. I think there’d be some new weird creatures roaming around. If I saw myself in 20 years, I don’t know what I’d see. I’d like to think I’d keep in shape, but after doing rugby for 15 years or for however long it is going to be, getting flogged every pre-season, I can see myself turning into a big, fat man and scoffing pizza and burgers.
What scares you more than anything?
Spiders. We went to Australia in pre-season and we did these steps, like real tough conditioning on some stairs. To get to them we had to walk through some trees and there were spiders hanging down. It was awful.
It’s my round, what are you drinking?
It depends how I’m feeling. Sometimes I go for the old classic lager and stick with that, but other times I don’t mind a bit of Guinness and blackcurrant, which can be quite filling. I am also partial to a Jack Daniels with a dash of coke.
Do you have any lucky charms or superstitions?
I’ve got a million and one superstitions, especially game day, I’m real fussy. Everything from the time I get up, eating the same meals, the time I put my boots on, the time I get dressed. If kick-off is at 3pm I try lie in until 9am, have a bowl of cereal for breakfast then beans on toast for a pre-match meal. I go out, although I’ve got to have a couple of cans of Red Bull before I go out, have a couple of chewies in the warm-up, put my boots on at a certain time and tie them at a certain time – I have them untied while I’m in the changing room, to get comfy.
What is your favourite TV programme?
I’m a bit up and down, I like a bit of a mix. I can go from watching Two and a Half Men, a comedy, to Masterchef and my cooking programmes. I don’t mind documentaries as well, a bit of a mix really.
What is your all-time favourite film?
I don’t like scary films. Favourite ones are probably Gladiator, Shawshank Redemption and Braveheart. I’ve never cried at a film.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs. I don’t have one, but the family has had them before. I’m not really a cat person.
Curry or a Chinese?
It depends. If I’m on my way home from a night out I’ll probably go curry, but if I’m rough after I’ve been boozing it’s a Chinese. I don’t mind a little bit of spice so I tend to go for a spicy one, like a Madras or something along those lines. At the Chinese I like something a bit fatty, like salt and pepper chicken balls or crispy chilli beef.
Tidy or messy?
Tidy. I’m quite a lot OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Everything has a place.
Any bad habits?
Biting my nails, it’s really bad, I’ve got no nails left, they’re real short, but I keep nibbling away.
What was your first car like?
I had a Ford Focus so it wasn’t too bad, with a 1.6 litre petrol engine, it got me to and fro. Now I’ve got a Mercedes C63, a 6.2l V8 petrol engine, and it costs me about £100 a week in fuel. It’s capped at 155mph, it does 0-60mph in four seconds.
Do you have any hobbies outside Rugby League?
I used to have a few, I used to like golf and stuff like that but I’ve got a little girl now and she takes up most of my time. She’s just approaching the terrible twos, so I’m expecting some tantrums over the next few months.
Do you have any party tricks?
One probably can’t be discussed, after a few beers I don’t mind doing the old helicopter. A few of the lads get me doing that one.
Who is your best friend in the game?
He’s probably my best friend anyway, but it just so happens he plays as well, it’s Sean Gleeson. We grew up together playing for the same team at Wigan St Pat’s and he’s godfather to my little girl. But I’ve got quite a few, I am matey with Paul Wood, Micky Higham, Chris Hill, so it’s those four really.
Who is the funniest Rugby League player you know?
I’d probably say Joel Monaghan, he’s a right character, give him one or two beers and that’s it. He’s hilarious, one of the jokers in the team.
Which pro has the worst dress sense?
Chris Riley is pretty bad, he thinks he’s cool but if you see some of his stuff you’d disagree.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Only when I’m out shopping and hungry, the chocolate gets loaded up and the sweets get thrown in the trolley. In general I’m not too bad, but I am partial to a Galaxy chocolate bar and fizzy sweets.
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