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Interview with Steve Cartwright

Tuesday May 12, 2020


 Greatest Player winner Steve Cartwright chats with Matt Panter from the Herald : Read his interview here..


 A local lad, an FA Vase winner and a defender with more than 300 appearances to his name - it’s little wonder Tamworth FC fans hold Steve Cartwright in such high regard. And his popularity with Lambs fans was emphasised last week when he came out on top in a Twitter vote to find the club’s greatest player.In a World Cup style competition, which involved 64 Tamworth greats, Cartwright won a last-four vote off against fellow legends Russell Gordon, Dale Belford and Mark Hallam.

 And he admitted to being honoured to have received such an impressive share of the vote, although remaining modest.

 “It’s been a little bit of fun during the lockdown,” he said.

 “It’s lovely to win it but it’s probably because I have great family and friends and I’m a local lad!

 “I know that I am not the greatest player that Tamworth have ever had so we need to put things in perspective,” he added.

 “There were some great candidates. I have made reference to Dave Seedhouse who played some 800 games for the club.

 “You have got to reward that loyalty and dedication.

 “I guess, as he’s one of the elder generation, he probably wasn’t going to win a vote where younger fans vote.

 “But, for me, he should have won it hands down because of that loyalty and what he’s done for the club and then went on to be a director.

 “That said, it’s fantastic to win. I’ve had a bit of fun with it as well with rumours, started by me.

 “I’ve said there’s a statue going up in the town and some people have been like: ‘Is there really?’

 “I’ve been joking I’m going on This Morning with Holly and Phil and Simon Cowell wants me on X Factor!

 “I’d be happy with a knighthood!

 “It’s was all good fun because it’s promoted the club which is what we want to do.

 “It has highlighted some of the great players to feature for Tamworth.”

 Cartwright, who was a member of the Lambs team who win the FA Vase in 1989, says putting on a Lambs shirt was always something he did with pride.

 “I always remember telling my dad that I only ever wanted to play for Tamworth,” he said. “It was an ambition of mine.

 “I love Tamworth. I love the football club and would never had a bad word said about it.

 “I wanted to play for the club and I achieved it.

 “People aim high and have different ambitions and different goals but I didn’t really have any great dreams as such.

 "I’ve always been happy with what I have got and loved what I had rather than always wanting to chase things.

 “You have to come to terms sometimes with happy being where you are and loving what you do rather than always wanting.

 "I think I achieved that in my football career.

 "Don’t get me wrong, it would have been lovely to have been earning millions of pounds a year, playing for Real Madrid.

 “But I was happy playing for my home town and they are the memories I will cherish. I have great memories of Wembley, awesome ones.

 “To actually go and play at Wembley with them, it’s not just the icing on the cake, it’s the cherry on top, the crushed nuts, it’s everything.

 “To put THAT football shirt on and play at Wembley, it’s something special. You can’t put it into words how lucky you are.

 “But, as fantastic and awesome as the FA Vase final was, it was about more than that.

 "I also great memories of playing against Chasetown or Hednesford away on a cold Tuesday evening.

 "They were just the same because as soon as I put that kit on then that was it. It was just something I wanted to do and I achieved.”

 Reflecting on his time at the club, he added: “There were certainly some changes down at the Lamb, going from when Roger Smith and Barry Meads took over. It was the start of the club as I knew it.

 “Graham Smith moved the club on and I enjoyed playing for all the managers.

 “The only one I didn’t really enjoy, a time which finished my career, was under Les Green.

 “Generally, if you learn just one thing from any manager that’s a success story and I learnt from them all.

 “I enjoyed all the times there, playing with great team-mates and under good managers.

 “I never had a bad time. It was always something I looked forward to doing.

 “I never once didn’t want to play. I never missed training, whatever the weather.

 “I always wanted to go down there and train and play.”

 Cartwright admits he was gutted to see the club miss out on promotion this season after the campaign was null and voided.

 But he said he hopes that good times come for the club in the future.

 “It’s such a shame this year that they would have potentially won the league,” he said. 

 “I just hope they can move forward despite this. I have always felt they are a sleeping giant.

 “You look at Burton Albion who were not much different to Tamworth when we were playing. Their success is, I feel, something we could have matched and we could be talking about the club in a different light.

 “Hopefully moving forward we can start to see success again. The club deserves it.”   

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