Red phone boxes & no football...

Soccer

Red phone boxes & no football boots: Danny Higginbotham on Gibraltar career

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

08:19 20 Mar 2019


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Danny Higginbotham is in the company of few, in making his international debut at 34 while playing for Chester. Perhaps predictably, it was not one of the blue-chip international teams that came calling, but the modest yet beautiful peninsula of Gibraltar.

Qualifying through his maternal grandmother, Danny joined us to discuss the surreal experiences of the Gibraltar national team, in contrast with a club career at the highest level.

"We actually went for a walk a couple of days before the game, around the city. I got talking to a few of the players, and then they dashed off to a sports shop.

"I said 'What are they going there for?' and they said 'We don't have boots,' and it turned out they don't play on grass!"

Danny found out the hard way that there was only one pitch in Gibraltar where they play, with a facility of the same near to the stadium where they play - but it is their fitness which may make Ireland's opponents a daunting prospect.

"They do a lot of fitness training, whether it be running up the Rock, or just other things to keep themselves fit because they just do not have the facilities to play football.

"They are looking to move to a place called Europa Point, and the idea is that they can get a 10,000 to 12,000 stadium there."

Danny gave us an insight into the character of the island, which is a peninsula proud of its British links.

"They are very proud to be part of [Britain] - they have the red post boxes and everything!

"People call it 'England in the sun...'"

Pack that Factor 50, lads...

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