Ash's Tim Wheeler remembers making up the numbers in the playground and a dislike of Roy Keane.
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 18/11/10 10:23pm
Unlike Kangol hats, curtain hairstyles and adopting a fake Madchester accent, Ash experienced the Britpop scene and have stood the test of time.
Classic songs such as 'Oh Yeah', 'Girl from Mars' and 'Goldfinger' earned the group a hardcore following in the mid-Nineties and that fanbase remains today.
Ash still attract interest from around the world, with four shows scheduled for next week in Japan, and they are now wrapping up their A-Z singles series with 'A-Z Vol 2'.
Before the band jetted off to the Far East, skysports.com caught up with New York-based Irishman and lead-singer Tim Wheeler to discover that one of the nicest blokes in music holds a bit of a grudge against Roy Keane.
I used to live in Highbury. I was never really into football that much, but then I went to a game in 2004 and got addicted. I have lived in New York City for the last five years so it is tough to get to games, but it is actually a great city for watching football. I think Americans are more enthusiastic about football now and there are so many people from around the world in New York that it is such a melting pot. There are all the Irish bars that are always showing the games. It's the derby against Tottenham this weekend, but I think I'm going to miss it because we are flying to Japan and we are in the air during the match.
Arsenal 2 Bolton 2, Highbury, 18/09/2004
I didn't go to matches when I was a kid as it was a bit tough because we were living in Ireland. I think the last game I saw at Emirates Stadium was against Manchester United a couple of seasons ago. I went to Anfield and watched Arsenal against Liverpool on the first game of this season. The great thing was that they played one of our songs at Anfield before the game. I thought that was a good omen.
Northern Ireland, 1986 World Cup
I guess it was probably the whole Northern Ireland team in the 1986 World Cup. People like Pat Jennings and Norman Whiteside, he was a good, young Northern Irish geezer.
I was really p***ed off with Roy Keane when he dropped out of Republic of Ireland's squad at the 2002 World Cup in Japan. I thought that sucked. I thought he was being selfish. He let the country down.
1986 World Cup
That was really exciting. Unfortunately I was too young to appreciate the 1982 World Cup, but I loved the drama and Diego Maradona in 1986. Seeing Northern Ireland, such a small country, involved was also unbelievable.
Barcelona 2 Arsenal 1, 2006 UEFA Champions League final
I was so gutted after 20 minutes when Jens Lehman got sent off. I was watching it in a bar in New York in the middle of the afternoon.
I was really too s**t. The furthest I ever got was kicking about at lunchtime. That was why I got into music because I was so bad at football. Mark Hamilton, our bass player, and I both sucked at football so badly that we had to find some other avenue. We found music!
Highbury commemorative shirt, 2005/06
I've got the redcurrant, commemorative shirt for Highbury from the 2005/06 season. I kind of miss Highbury, but I think the Emirates is just brilliant and it secured the future for the club. They keep making it better, with the clock and everything. But I was glad I got to Highbury a good few times.
Thin Lizzy, Live and Dangerous, 1978My big brother gave it to me when he moved out of the family house. He gave me a cassette player and the cassette, it changed my life. I've still got the tape, but it is really badly chewed up. I've also got it on CD and MP3, so I have got it covered on all formats. I still love the album.
Having marked the halfway point in their A-Z singles series with the 13-track compilation 'A-Z Vol 1', Ash wrap up the series with 'A-Z Vol 2'. Available from www.ash-official.com