X Factor finalist and chart-topper Olly Murs takes a walk down memory lane with skysports.com.
By Rachel Griffiths
Last Updated: 29/10/10 6:04pm
Olly Murs has well and truly proved there is nothing wrong with second place since finishing as runner-up of the X Factor last year.
After making a name for himself on Saturday night telly, Murs announced his return in September this year when his debut single 'Please Don't Let Me Go' soared straight into the charts at number one.
Essex boy Murs releases his debut self-titled album on Epic Records/Syco on November 29th, preceded by his latest single 'Thinking of Me'.
But the long-time Manchester United fan still found time to chat with Rachel Griffiths about Red Devils wallpaper, hating Patrick Vieira and wanting to be David Beckham.
When the Premier League started I was a football fan and only about eight or nine and I was to-ing and fro-ing about my club. Then within a couple of years David Beckham came around and I was swaying towards United anyway. Once Beckham came out of the woodwork I became a massive fan through him. I was about 10 or 11, when you start taking football more seriously, and Beckham was at the forefront of that. My dad is a Manchester United fan and has been for years and he went to a lot of away games when he could, so he gave us the decision and we went with him. It was always good, friendly banter at school, it never got to that point where people started hating you because you supported United. Sometimes I do wish I supported a local team but I wouldn't change supporting United for the world, they're my team and if I get any time to go and see them I go up and see them. I did United Relief and also Soccer Aid at Old Trafford earlier this year and it was incredible to be on a pitch which has been graced by United legends.
Blackburn 1 Manchester United 3, Ewood Park, 22nd January 2003
I used to go to local games at Ipswich Town and Colchester United but my first United match was a Blackburn game and also the first away game I ever went to. It was at Ewood Park in the Carling Cup. My dad couldn't afford to take my brother and I up to Manchester at all because it was too expensive. Also, because I'm a keen footballer I was always playing football on Saturdays and Sundays, so I didn't really have time to watch games. So when I got to 18, 19 my friend was a Rovers fan and he got us tickets. We drew the Old Trafford tie but we won the away one 3-1. It was amazing to watch it live and actually see them.
Of course, it's David Beckham. Eric 'ooh-aah' Cantona was amazing, but Beckham was the one that took it for me. Everything about him - his work ethic, his technique. He's one of the best passers and free-kick takers the world has ever seen, in terms of his ability to put a ball on someone's head. He was just a great player for United, he was a great servant and very loyal and it was a shame really that he had to end his United career the way he did. Being a big England player playing for Man United and becoming such a big figure around the whole world at the time, he made it ok for me to support United in Essex. I just wanted to be like Beckham - I had the Beckham shirt, I had the Beckham hair. Unfortunately I didn't have the Beckham girlfriend.
My first real villain was Patrick Vieira. I used to love it when United played Arsenal, it was such a big rivalry. It was always interesting to see Roy Keane against Vieira, it was the pinnacle thing for me. Vieira was the first player I really kind of hated, really despised, because it was always a big battle with him.
Thomas' goal, Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2, May 1989
It was when Michael Thomas scored in the last minute against Liverpool at Anfield and Arsenal won the league. I remember seeing it happening around me, I must have only been six or seven. People were round to watch it and everyone was talking about it. I just think it was such a memorable game and it was amazing that Arsenal nicked it and won the title. It was really stand-out stuff.
United lose title to Blackburn, 1995
It has to be when we lost the Premier League title to Blackburn on the last day of the season in 1995. We played West Ham and we couldn't score for the life of us. Andy Cole could not hit a barn door. Obviously being from down south and knowing a lot of West Ham fans I got an absolute caning. We couldn't beat them and they weren't even doing very well. Another bad memory is when Marc Overmars scored for Arsenal at Old Trafford in 1998. They played Vieira and Nicolas Anelka and they actually destroyed us. I just remember being deeply upset and annoyed.
Valley Green, Essex
I used to play for Valley Green and my first memory was probably against the Maldon Saints. My dad actually has a video of it and I think that's why it sticks in my mind. I was only really small but I was really quick when I was little and I got the ball from the half-way line. I ran 50 yards with the ball, no one could catch me, and my dad was going mental with the camera going 'Go on, Olly!'. But I got into the six-yard box, I was probably about three-feet tall, and I hit the ball straight down the middle and the keeper just stood there and picked it up. My dad had a go at me, I was only nine years old! He was like, 'For god's sake Olly, you do that every time!'. That was my first proper team and then I went on to go semi-professional and played for Heybridge Swifts for a couple of years. But I did my cruciate knee ligament in and can't really play anymore.
Manchester United, 1994-95
It was the black Sharp Viewcam kit from 1994-95, a really nice kit. I had Ryan Giggs on the back of my shirt and my brother had Lee Sharpe on the back of his. I think it was the year we lost the league against West Ham. It was a Christmas present and that year we also had Manchester United duvets, mugs, towels, wallpaper - everything.
Meatloaf - Bat Out of Hell, 1977
Quite random but it was actually Meatloaf. Growing up we used to do karaoke on a Sunday night and I used to do a really good impression of 'I'd Do Anything For Love' and 'Bat out of Hell'. So I used my pocket money and bought it on vinyl. I don't know why I bought it. I didn't even like the album I only liked the singles.
Olly Murs releases his debut self-titled album on Epic Records/Syco on November 29th. The release follows the outstanding success of his debut single 'Please Don't Let Me Go' which reached number one in September. To hear Olly's material and find out more about him, visit: www.ollymurs.com.