Off the field interview: Alex Walmsley

Alex Walmsley, the up-and-coming Saints star, tells Joe Whitley about his love of junk food, his fear of heights, and signing his first full-time contract…

What is your favourite food?
It’s got to be pizza, donner-meat pizza. I enjoy it sober! As long as it’s cooked right, that’s for me. I like loads of garlic mayo with it. I have it once a month or every other month, not very often.

Walmsley grew up with a Rottweiler and prefers dogs to cats.
Walmsley grew up with a Rottweiler and prefers dogs to cats.

What song do you listen to more than any other?
Sally Cinnamon by Stone Roses.

Which superpower would you most like to have?
I think I’d stop time. I’d just go round de-kegging people [pulling down their trousers]. I’d probably get Louie [McCarthy-Scarsbrook] first.

If you could be any animal, what would you be?
You’d be a lion, wouldn’t you? King of the jungle. I’d just go round eating people.

What year would you go to in a time machine?
I’d go backwards, to the 1970s. I’d just go disco-ing. The 70s and 80s looked a good era, especially for rugby – everyone was getting pi**ed up all the time. Good music, too. Everything seemed nice. I’d go there for that reason.

What scares you more than anything?
Heights. I’m terrified of heights. I went up Blackpool tower when I was younger and I couldn’t go near that pane of glass you can stand on. It absolutely terrified me. I couldn’t do it.

The glass floor at the top of Blackpool Tower was too much for Walmsley, who is afraid of heights.
The glass floor at the top of Blackpool Tower was too much for Walmsley, who is afraid of heights.

It’s my round, what are you drinking?
I’m lager. I tend to drink bottles of beer, and as the night goes on it all goes pear-shaped really. You drink what you’re given, don’t you?

What is your favourite time of year?
Summer. There’s no better feeling than training when it’s hot outside and you’re in shorts and vest and everyone seems to be in better spirits. When it’s in the middle of winter and it’s gloomy and you’re all wrapped up.

Do you have any superstitions?
No I don’t, it’s weird really. I’m not one for lucky underpants or having certain meals at different times. I’m too laid back to have superstitions.

Dogs or cats?
Dogs. I hate cats. They’re horrible things, lazy too. We’ve got a family dog, a Rottweiler.

Curry or Chinese?
Curry. Lamb and spinach masala with a cheesy naan. The cheesy naan is the way forward. I’ve only just found out about them and they’re pretty good. I also have a mixed starter.

A cheesy naan, which Walmsley swears by with a curry.
A cheesy naan, which Walmsley swears by with a curry.

TV or a film?
Film, probably. When I’m watching TV it’s normally a film anyway. It’s a toss-up between Lord of the Rings, Toy Story, and Shawshank Redemption, which is outstanding.

Tidy or messy?
I’m tidy, I don’t like a mess. I like to keep on top of stuff. I wouldn’t say I was pristine, but a mess annoys me.

Any bad habits?
I bite my nails. Too laid back is probably one of them, too. I’m not the sort of person who gets up and does something straight away I’m always pottering about the place first. It takes me about an hour to get ready.

What was your first car like?
I had a Peugeot 106 when I first passed my test. It cost me about £900. It was shi*e but it did me alright. It was a 2003 model, one of the smallest cars ever. I don’t know if you’ve seen The Incredibles [2004 Pixar film], that little car, that was like mine. No one could sit behind me because I was basically sat on the back seat. I’ve got a 207 now, another Peugeot. It’s just a run-around really.

Alex Walmsley's favourite fictional character - Batman.
Alex Walmsley’s favourite fictional character – Batman.

Do you have any hobbies?
I wanted to get into golf but I don’t think I’ve got the patience for it. I like to go to the cinema. I went to watch the Hobbit and Anchorman 2 recently. Anchorman 2 was brilliant but it goes off a bit weird towards the end, although I liked it. The Hobbit was good but I’ve read the books – I like reading books – and it’s completely random as well, it just makes no sense. It’s nothing like the book at all. They’ve made three films out of one book. It’s just a money-making thing isn’t it?

Who is your favourite fictional character?
Batman, I love Batman. He’s cool, he has all the cars. He doesn’t have any superpowers but he kicks a*se. And he always gets fit birds as well.

What did you do for your first job?
I was at uni before I signed for Batley, but I got offered a job as a quantity surveyor. I turned it down to come to Saints.

What is the greatest moment of your life?
I think signing as a full-time professional was a pretty nice feeling. I felt like I’d made it. When I played with Batley in the Championship it was not full time, so it was a really special feeling. I think where Saints are at the moment is not where they should be. With Nathan Brown at the helm they are going to the right places. It’s only a matter of time before we win something. Someone mentioned it has been five years since we won a trophy; I couldn’t believe it.

Walmsley enjoyed Anchorman 2 but thought it was 'random'.
Walmsley enjoyed Anchorman 2 but thought it was ‘random’.

Who is your best friend in the game?
I have a good friendship with Louie [McCarthy-Scarsbrook]. But I think in the whole of Rugby League I’d say my brother Liam. He’s at Featherstone now but I played with him at Batley, which was pretty special. I live with Greg Richards, one of the younger lads at Saints, who’s a top lad.

Which pro has the worst dress sense?
I have to say Mark Percival. Some of his attire is in your face a little bit. He always wears skinny jeans and horrendous tops. I wouldn’t say I’m a trendsetter, though.