‘FREDDIE MORRIS, CLAPTON’S CENTRE MID’: EX-STEVENAGE STARLET ON HIS HORROR INJURY, LURE OF THE ULTRAS AND HEARING HIS SONG

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Freddie Morris interviewed on TV

Clapton FC’s midfielder Freddie Morris gave a typically calm and assured performance in an hour-long live TV interview earlier this month.

You can watch the full interview with Freddie – and Tons chief exec Vince McBean – on the FANTV YouTube channel from 56 mins in.

However, here are Freddie’s highlights.

On his pre-Clapton days

From 16 to 18 I was in Stevenage’s academy.

I was very lucky at Stevenage because the academy was run really well, we got to do lots of international tours and all sorts.

I played in their FA Youth Cup teams, the reserves, trying to break into the first team but didn’t end up getting a pro contract.

I was released and became disillusioned with football, having played it your whole life. But other things come into your life so I filtered down the leagues.

I went to uni, played for my uni team, then got quite a big arm injury so I didn’t play for a year or so.

It’s only since going to Clapton that I really got back into it.

On his horror injury

I was just playing in a charity five-side game for my work.

I got eased into the side of the caged pitch, went to put my hand up to stop myself but I didn’t quite do it in time. It sort of snapped my arm in half.

I was actually laying there for what felt like a week, but I think it was about half an hour before the ambulance came.

So I’ve now got two large plates and about 15 or 16 screws pinning it all together. They’re in there permanently.

I couldn’t move my arm for more than a couple of inches for about three or four months.

It was a long time before I could even brush my hair again. I didn’t play for a year but now it’s fine.

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Freddie Morris shows off his scar on TV

On the Clapton Ultras

I had a friend who was playing down there and said “it’s amazing you’ve got to come and see the fans”.

Since I’ve been involved it’s been amazing. It sounds a bit cheesy but they’ve given me my love for football back.

The fans we’ve got are absolutely unbelievable, nothing like I’ve played in front of before.

For the big games we can get pushing up to 800, 1000 and they’re not just sitting there eating their hot dogs, they’re singing the whole time, letting off flares, which the chairman will tell you costs him money in fines.

I think it’s money well spent. After a big goal, flare goes off, banners come out, chants are going. It’s quality, it’s what you play for.

So that’s amazing, we are lucky to have that.

On his song

I’ve got my own chant. The first time I remember hearing it, I was like ‘was that… was that aimed at me?’

You can hear the tune when they’re building up to it, you know it’s coming. It’s to the tune of The Animals Came In Two By Two.

I’m a centre midfielder, I spent a lot of last season playing centre half, they still haven’t really clocked that I’ve actually moved cos they go ‘Freddie Morris, Clapton’s centre half.’ Cheers, but I don’t play centre half!

They have added a few more words this season, not all of them complimentary. Something about the facial hair situation. Something about me being a crab, only passing side to side.

I don’t agree with that but it’s all good, it’s funny.

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Freddie Morris on the show with chief exec Vince McBean

On his team-mates

There’s a lot of local guys, which is good, some guys who have been there since junior ages and perhaps at some point moved around to other clubs.

There’s not so many academy players this season, there are some who have played abroad at some point and come back.

It’s quite a good mix.

On our Essex Senior League opponents

More teams are building their away fans so you do get some clans who come down to the Old Spotted Dog and sing.

I always seem to be the one who gets the stick because of the amateur magician look.

We all want to encourage it. We all as players want to be in that atmosphere.

I’m sure standing and watching is more enjoyable when there’s chanting from both sides.

On his busy schedule

It’s difficult. Everyone has full-time jobs. A lot of the lads have young families.

You’re not only playing Saturdays, most Tuesdays, training Thursdays, you’re looking after yourself in between that. I didn’t have a beer in the green room, did I?

It’s only really Sunday that I won’t be either playing football, going for a run or going to the gym.

But you love the game, you go down on a Saturday and have 500 fans cheering you on, it’s all worthwhile.

Southend on a Tuesday night is a bit of a mission. As soon as you step up the travel would be a lot more.

There’s a lot of players who play at this tier because there’s not so much of these long journeys, you don’t get Merthyr Tydfil away.

* FANTV is on live 5 nights a week (7pm to 10pm Tuesday to Friday & 4pm to 7pm on Saturdays) on Sky 212 and Freeview Connect 254. Or stream, catch up and connect on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

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