Off the field interview: Garreth Carvell

What would your last meal on Earth be?
I would have to say homemade fajitas. Chicken fajitas. Just my own secret recipe, I can’t let you into it, it’s not happening. It’s just steady away, not too spicy, nice and mild. I’d wash it down with water, I like water. Anything else takes the taste away from the fajitas.

What song do you listen to more than any other?
I don’t know, I tend to skip from genre to genre, one minute I’m listening to Johnny Cash and the next I’m listening to, some hip-hop guy. It’s strange. At the minute I quite like ‘Happy’ from Despicable Me 2 by Pharrell Williams. That’s pretty catchy.

Fajitas are Garreth's speciality. ©RLPhotos
Fajitas are Garreth’s speciality. ©ThinkStock

Which superpower would you most like to have?
Probably flight, I’d like to have a fly around. I’d see how high I could go and see how cold it gets up there. I’d like to take the family on holiday but it would be difficult with luggage and things. I’d try get them to Australia, it’s lovely over there.

If you could become any animal for the day, what would you be?
I think I’d be a Crocodile, they’ve lasted millions of years so I’d like to be one of them. A salty [saltwater] because they’re bigger!

What year would you go to in a time machine?
I’d go back and see what happened at 0BC or 1BC, and write my own bible!

What scares you more than anything?
I don’t really have any phobias. I think failure more than anything. Letting your team-mates down. I think scare is a bit strong, but letting people down and that sort of thing.

It’s my round, what are you drinking?
Jameson and coke, it’s my favourite. With ice. We [Carvell and wife Vicky] went to Alchemist in Manchester, they did a whiskey that was smoked with oak and it was beautiful, with a big ball of ice and I just had that neat. If I was going out with the boys though it would just be Jameson and coke, just singles though, I like to pace myself.

Crocodile Carvell has a bit of a ring to it. ©RLPhotos
Crocodile Carvell has a bit of a ring to it. ©ThinkStock

Do you have any lucky charms or superstitions?
No, I just have a routine. Spaghetti bolognese the night before a game, light breakfast, protein shake and a walk. That’s my routine before every game. I just go for a little wonder. Sometimes I’ll take the missus and little lad to a shopping centre, it’s just trying to get away from it.

What is your favourite TV programme?
I really got into Breaking Bad, I’ve watched it all now, I really enjoyed it. I got it on Netflix and watched it one after the other!

What is your all-time favourite film?
I like The Hurricane, that’s a good film about a boxer that got set up. It’s Denzel Washington. I like any sort of film as long as it grabs me a bit, I like the silly ones too, the Anchormans, Step Brothers, that sort of thing. Talladega Nights. Anything Will Ferrell does I’ll give a watch.

Dogs or cats?
Dogs, definitely. We don’t have one now but we’ve had dogs, we’ve had cats as well but dogs are more loyal and you can bond with them, whereas cats are a bit selfish and look after themselves.

Curry or a Chinese?
Curry, definitely. I normally have a balti, chicken balti with a big naan. There’s one in the village where we live [Stockton Heath] that’s outstanding, called the Cardamon. You’ll have to get it in there and I might get a free curry! [Laughs]

Carvell is a regular at the shooting range. ©ThinkStock
Carvell is a regular at the shooting range. ©ThinkStock

Tidy or messy?
I am tidy but my missus is really messy. I end up walking round clearing up after people all day, I don’t mind it, I enjoy it actually. It’s nice to be tidy. When I cook I tidy as I go, but when Vicky cooks it looks like a bomb has gone off.

Any bad habits?
No, I’m perfect.

What was your first car like?
It was a Vauxhall Nova SR, it was an old one. I think it might have been an F reg, no power steering, alloy wheels, 6×9 speakers, job lot. It was a right beast. It was surprisingly quick. I looked like Bowser from Mario Kart sat in it though.

Do you have any hobbies outside RL?
I’ve gone through quite a few hobbies, I tend to get obsessed with something then move on. I’ve been into shooting, fishing, golf. I think my main hobby is coffee drinking to be honest, I love going in and having different coffees in different shops, I like to go sample little home-made shops and try their coffees. But you can’t beat a Costa, unfortunately.

Who is your favourite fictional character?
My little lad watches all the animated films and I like Gru [Felonious Gru, a supervillain with a heart of gold] from Despicable Me. He’s not really bad, even though he tries to be.

Carvell is a clean-freak. ©ThinkStock
Carvell is a clean-freak. ©ThinkStock

Do you have any party tricks?
We went to Richie Myler’s wedding and I did Rapper’s Delight by Sugarhill Gang, I think the version is 15 minutes long and I did it all the way through. I remember all the lyrics. That’s my little party trick.

What is the greatest moment of your life?
I think my son being born, I don’t think much can trump that, unless we have another one. I didn’t cry until they took him away from me. In career terms, I was proud to play for Great Britain and playing in a final against Australia was good. I couldn’t pinpoint one thing. There’s a few highlights that I couldn’t split down the middle.

Who is your best friend in the game?
It would have to be Adrian Morley, I’ve known him since I signed at Leeds and we became pretty good mates straight away. We kept in contact while he was out in Australia, and when he came back it was like he’d never left. It’s good to have a mate in rugby, they know what you’re going through.

Carvell's guilty pleasure? Driving too much! ©ThinkStock
Carvell’s guilty pleasure? Driving too much! ©ThinkStock

Which pro has the worst dress sense?
I think Nick Scruton is terrible. He’ll turn up to training in slippers because he hasn’t got changed out of his pyjamas. I thought I’d seen a few things.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I have, but I couldn’t tell you about them! I’ll tell you later. I love driving, so I will often just jump in the car and go for a spin, so I suppose that’s a guilty pleasure thinking of the environment.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?
It went a little bit unnoticed, I was making my debut for Leeds Academy, I was only 16 and quite nervous before the game. People will find out now won’t they! I went onto the pitch as a sub and about five, six minutes later I had to come off and ran off the pitch because the nerves had got the best of me, let’s say. That was pretty embarrassing when I had to tell the coach why I came off.

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