Friday, 27 April 2012


One of the more heart-warming sub-plots behind Woking's promotion back to Conference Premier was the role played by midfielder Kevin Betsy in the latter weeks of the campaign. Betsy, snapped up by Kevin Keegan's Fulham in 1998 after exploding onto the scene at Kingfield months earlier, re-joined the Cards in February 2012, having turned out for 11 different Football League clubs during the interim period.

Now 34, Betsy made his 'second debut' in Woking's 1-0 win over their closest title rivals, Dartford, and started the next nine games. A red card at Eastbourne Borough was a rare blot on his copybook, but his three goals in the space of four games helped the Cards tighten their stranglehold on top spot, before the championship was finally sown up with victory at Maidenhead United.

A terrace hero of mine during his days as a flying wing-back under Geoff Chapple and John McGovern, Betsy's triumphal return further enhanced his reputation as a legend of the red and white halves. Strange, really - when you consider he's made just 58 league starts for Woking over a 15-year period - but then that's the beauty of football, isn't it?

What was your first pair of boots?


Adidas L2000, black with green stripes. Lush.


Nice. What's your earliest memory of football and who were your heroes growing up?

My uncle gave me a 1982 World Cup football and it never left me. I lived a stone's throw from Upton Park so used to go and watch West Ham, [Tony] Cottee and [Frank] McAvennie. But John Barnes was my hero #inspiring

I've been enjoying your blog. What prompted you to start writing and who are your favourite sports writers?

My father worked in the industry for 25 years at the Daily Mail and Today, so it's in the family. My degree is helping me develop my writing. Football was always my priority growing up - I didn't have time for much else. Nowadays, I can do things I never had time to do. If people like my writing then that is great. We all have things to say. When I got my first byline in a national paper, it was like scoring a goal #delighted. Graham Hunter is my favourite, as my Dad introduced me to him when I was a boy, and I've followed his career develop. Gab Marcotti is decent as well.

Congratulations on winning promotion. Describe how it feels to have helped Woking back into Conference Premier.

Fantastic. I owe the club my career, as without them I would not have had the opportunity to make it in the pro game. The club has been down over the last few years and it's great to help them back up to the level they should be. A crowd of 4300 at our last home game shows what can be achieved in the future. Football clubs should be a massive part of the community. Woking are doing things right even in non-league.

Was it always in your plans to return to Woking one day?

The best plan is to be happy in life. It's natural to gravitate back to places of happiness and people that help achieve this.

How hot do you have your chicken at Nando's?


I rarely go Nando's as my parents' chicken is the best. All I can say is hot and spicy.

You were in the Fulham squad for their first ever Premiership game - at Old Trafford. Your memories of that day?

Unforgettable! Childhood dreams of playing in the top league, realised coming on as sub at a full Theatre of Dreams. Great game, lost 3-2, with the magnifique Louis Saha scoring two for us. Beckham and Van Nistelrooy (two) for United.

Barry Hayles got a start that afternoon - did you grab a word when he came down to Woking with Truro [on April 21]?

Of course, I replaced him in that game. He is one of my closest friends. We speak often.

I was just going to ask... Who are your best friends in football?


Darren Byfield, Stefan Oakes, Lloyd Owusu, Steve Kabba.


And the best players you've played with and against?


Played with: Saha, Dean Gorre, Chris Coleman, Danny Senda. Against: Andy Cole, David Beckham, Ashley Cole, Ryan Giggs.

You can follow @kevinbetsy on Twitter


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