Star comedian Kevin Bridges talks all things Celtic, Ronaldo and Subbuteo
By Peter Fraser. Last Updated: 22/12/10 10:44am
Football firsts: Kevin Bridges
Having managed a trip to Spain at the end of November to watch El Clasico amid a busy tour schedule, comedian Kevin Bridges is clearly a follower of the fine things in football.
But after catching up with the stand-up, whose live DVD, 'The Story So Far...', is now on sale, shortly after he returned from Barcelona, skysports.com learnt that the Glaswegian's sporting passion does not simply apply to the glittering events.
Bridges' speedy ascent of comedy's ladder has been nothing short of remarkable for a man of only 24 years of age, and appearances on 'Live at the Apollo' and 'Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow' have already cemented his star status.
Telling jokes is therefore clearly a skill, however, Bridges also holds an excellent knowledge of football and, along with a mid-interview interruption from a photograph-hunting fan, he was happy to explain.
I was born into a family who supports Celtic. My dad is a Celtic fan and my grandad is a Celtic fan. Celtic was the first game that I remember going to, watching and paying attention to the football. People go on about how the gap is closing and the SPL is becoming more competitive. I think it is because Celtic and Rangers are downsizing rather than other teams improving. I went to the last Old Firm derby and it was the first time I had been in a while. Even 10 years ago I was used to seeing guys like Henrik Larsson, Alan Thompson and John Hartson. But now it is guys who were playing for Scunthorpe or Burnley last season and there is not really the same appeal, you notice the difference.
Celtic 2 Aberdeen 2 - 19/01/1994
I was about seven-years-old and I hated having to stand up. My dad let me sit on the wee barrier at the top. I was excited to see the stadium and the scoreboard, and going up on the bus for supporters as well. We used to go and see Clydebank, they were my local team. But obviously they went bankrupt about 10 years ago. I went to see them when I was about six, but I don't remember much. When you are that age you just go for the pies.
The Brazilian, the real Ronaldo. I used to be obsessed by him. There was one Christmas when I asked for the kit of every team that he played for. I had an Inter Milan kit, Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven. But my mates pointed out he also played for Cruzeiro, typical cruel school children. I had to go to my mum and dad and try and get them to find a Cruzeiro strip. We never managed that. I remember being so disappointed with Ronaldo in the 1998 World Cup final. I was on holiday in Majorca and was devastated. Something went wrong, I don't know what happened.
My brother is 10 years older than me and he always used to go to the Celtic games. I would stay at home and get the Subbuteo mat. I would replicate the actual match, so it would be Celtic versus whoever and I would listen on the radio. There was once when it was Celtic-Raith Rovers in the League Cup. Raith ended up winning. But on the Subbuteo I had Celtic winning 9-0 and I kept giving my dad score updates. But I wanted to make it competitive so said Raith had scored one. That was when Raith scored in real life and I always get the blame for Celtic's cup humiliation!
Duntocher Boys Club
I went to training a few times. The guy who coached us thought he was Alex Ferguson. He would scream at everybody and there was no ball work. He would just get everyone doing about 10 laps of the park, it was all fitness work. But if I trained my parents would give me a quid to go to the chippy on the way home. I fancied myself as a bit of a defender at the time. But I would often get caught out for pace as a youngster! I didn't get in the school team because I was always rubbish. I was so frustrated about how bad I was because I love football. My mum would tell my older brother to take me with him to play football in the school holidays. He would be 15-years-old and I would be five! My brother would tell me I could play but had to be a substitute and that was the most important part of the team. I would be behind the goal, running up and down, doing stretches. One day a guy actually did fall and dislocate a shoulder. I was like, 'yes, I'm going to get on the pitch'. But obviously you can't have a five-year-old playing with 15-year-olds. It slowly dawned on me that they were just putting up with me.
It was my own gig. I had never seen stand-up until it was me on stage. It was the first time I went in a comedy club. I was 17-years-old when I started and was never allowed in the clubs. I had to get a special note to say that I was bringing along a parent so I could perform. I left school and realised I was pretty much rubbish at everything else so thought I would give comedy a try. If it had not gone well I would have chucked it on the first night, but I realised it was something positive and worked hard.
Kevin Bridges' new DVD, 'The Story So Far...' is available now. Click here to buy.