Q&A with former QPR, Portsmouth and Wales defender Gavin Maguire
V2 Football had the pleasure to talk to Former QPR, Portsmouth and Wales defender Gavin Maguire.
How were you spotted?
I was playing locally in Middlesex where I was living with my parents. At the age of around 15, a local scout from another local team was a scouting for Queens Park Rangers and he recommended me up to there and I started at schoolboy level.
I read that you started as a striker, was it a difficult adjustment to become a defender?
No, it wasn’t really. It was during a game, our centre-half at the time broke his leg and I sat in there for the rest of the game. I immediately for it quite comfortable, I was the spare man in the system so I still had time to get my foot on the ball and play as well then all of a sudden I discovered I enjoyed defending.
What are your favourite memories of your time at QPR?
Oh it was incredible as I was a QPR fan as a boy so go to the team that you supports is a little bit special, its boyhood dream stuff. It was amazing, absolutely amazing.
You moved to Portsmouth for £175,000 which was a big fee in 1989. Did you feel any pressure to succeed?
No, not really. It was a difficult decision to make as I didn’t want to leave QPR but because of the circumstances, it was the best decision at the time. I was more looking forward to a new adventure really.
When you’ve grown up at a club as a youngest, you feel like a little fish and a big pond but when someone invests money in you, you’re perceived in a different way.
It was good; I was ready for the pressure.
You had an amazing strike force in your debut match for Wales against Finland. Upfront was the trio of Dean Saunders, Ian Rush and Mark Hughes. Who do you think is the best Welsh striker of all-time?
It’s a really difficult question, I don’t know if I can answer. There all different players, some amazing players when you think about it. I cannot answer that one.
What was your best moment in a Wales shirt?
It’s like anything; it’s your first game. When you’ve played and you realised you’ve achieved something. In the same way your debut for your first club is special and something you cannot replicate, you’re only gonna do it the once and I feels an amazing achievement, very proud and it’s incredible.
Unfortunately, you had to retire at just 26 and got into hair dressing. How did that come about?
I became a fitness instructor; I enjoyed it but see myself doing it long-term. So I had a neighbour who had done hairdressing for years and owned his salon.
He said why don’t you try hair dressing and I said don’t be so ridiculous so he said if your gonna do it, go down Vidal Sassoon in London and do a fast track course for 9 months cost about £9000 back then, think it’s over £16,000 these days.
Huge risk, huge investment and I did it. In the beginning I was at 6’s and 7’s did not have a clue what I was doing then things seemed to click and now I’ve been cutting hair for 16 years.
Do any of your punters recognise you?
Yeah, once in a blue moon.
Thing is, I’ve been out of football so long now even football fan wouldn’t recognise me to be honest. One or two people know, when It’s an interesting little story rather than asking if they’re going on holiday and the topically hair dressing things.
It’s quite novel to talk about football and what I’ve done in the past.
You can follow Gavin on twitter - https://twitter.com/gavinmaguire2