It is time for another guest article and once again it is by regular contributor Anthony Kendrick. A big thanks to Anthony (you can follow him on Twitter here) so without further delay, Anthony it’s over to you.
Former England goalkeeper and Premier League winner Tim Flowers joined me for an interview on The 72 Show. You can check it out in full here:
Tim Flowers made 500 club appearances and achieved 11 England caps during his career, playing through the 90s. Tim said that there were two main highlights of his career. The first, winning the Premier League and secondly, playing for England.
‘They’d stand out for most people to be honest. 20 years is a long time to have played football but I was lucky enough to play in a very good Blackburn side. You never think that it [England caps] would ever happen, but I got 11. Euro 96 was a fantastic tournament and I thoroughly enjoyed part of that. There were a lot of good English goalkeepers around at that time.’
Noting David Seaman as the England number #1, which perhaps meant that Flowers didn’t get many England appearances as a second choice. He mentions being proud of his achievements. I then followed this up by asking who the best player he got to play with was.
‘Alan Shearer was the best player I played with, without a shadow of a doubt. I met him at Southampton and he went to Blackburn before me. He was fantastic in the air and scored goals by the bucket load. You knew if he was in the team you had a very good chance of winning. He was fantastic in training drills and he came alive when there was a goal. I played with top class players at Blackburn but he was fantastic.’
Tim retired at 36 as a player but immediately went into coaching. This is his journey, with his retirement immediately leading to a coaching job.
‘I retired at 36. I didn’t necessarily want to retire as a player, but I sort of ended up being replaced at Southampton. It [going into coaching] happened within weeks of the last game of the season. Micky Adams offered it to me, and to be honest, I hadn’t really considered what I was going to do. I enjoy trying to help other goalkeepers or any other footballer who wants to listen and help them be as good as they can be.’
After stints at various clubs including Northampton Town and Stafford, Flowers currently works at Solihull Moors with Mark Yates. The club were bottom of the National League, but the pair have overseen a steady improvement, including a recent draw with table-topping Macclesfield.
‘I had worked with Mark before and we both went for the interview at Solihull Moors, so they paired us up and it’s been terrific. We were a way adrift but we’re going in the right direction. We almost needed snookers when we got in [to avoid relegation] and it’s still going to be a tough ask. Straight away we changed the training from two evenings a week to three mornings so we’re fitter, better prepared and more organised with more time together.’
I finished the interview by asking for his thoughts on the proposed Winter Break.
‘I’m a bit of a traditionalist and it’s not for me. The English game is a real test of you both mentally and physically to play in most weathers with only a 24 o 48 hour gap between games. I remember Liverpool with 17 players playing a 60-70 game season, but I’m sure they’ll change it at some point [and introduce a Winter Break]
Many Thanks to Tim Flowers for providing his time, and good luck to Solihull Moors for the rest of the season.
Thanks Anthony for providing the write up and I would recommend listening to the interview in full
If you would like to get involved then feel free to send your work over to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll make sure it has a home here at Real Football Man HQ.