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Andy Waterworth: How my wife is helping me brush up on striking skills during lockdown



Andy Waterworth with his wife Lisa

Andy Waterworth with his wife Lisa

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Andy Waterworth with his wife Lisa

We are asking our sporting personalities how they are dealing with action coming to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic and how it has affected their daily lives.

Today, we speak to Linfield striker Andy Waterworth.

Q: How are you keeping?

A: I had a bit of a chest infection which was nothing to do with the coronavirus but other than that I'm fine. My wife works for the NHS so that's our only concern. She's a midwife at the Ulster Hospital and she's a wee bit apprehensive at times but that's what her training's for and she loves her job. Times like this are when you really do take your hat off to all the people that are working in the health service.

Q: How is the virus affecting you?

A: I work with the Irish FA's coach education team as a development officer. I deliver all the coach education courses and I also coach the Northern Ireland 2005s team under Jim Magilton but both of those jobs have stopped, obviously. The only positive is being able to write new courses that I didn't have time to do. I'm glad I've got that because when I've nothing valuable to be doing, it gets me down.

When one of the Linfield lads tested positive a few weeks ago, it was worrying for everybody but it was all dealt with well. The player was told not to report to training and he recovered really well. Most of the rest of the boys were tested and everything came back negative.

We've had an extra week in isolation now compared to everybody else. On the one hand you feel like pulling your hair out and on the other hand you feel very fortunate. There are a lot of people much worse off and people working on the front lines so you have to do your bit.

Q: How are you keeping fit?

A: I put my boots on in the garden the other day and had my wife Lisa throwing footballs at me to practice volleys - that's how bad it's getting.

I'm not training too hard after that chest infection but I'm doing bits of strength work on wee niggly injuries I have. Once we get word of when the football's starting back, then we can build the training back up. As a sports science student, I'm just trying to keep the mind healthy and the body ticking over.


Andy Waterworth

Andy Waterworth

�INPHO/William Cherry

Andy Waterworth


Q: How are you keeping morale up and how is the Linfield team bonding?

A: I'm staying round family, just watching Netflix and trying to eat well. I have a routine of eating well and then giving myself a wee treat in the evening - maybe an ice cream or a glass of wine.

We've a whatsapp group with the Linfield lads and it's full of banter. Kirk Millar has been texting to tell me how much he misses me. It's keeping spirits high. At the same time though, I'm trying not to look at social media too much because there's a lot of misinformation and things going round and it can affect your form.

Q: Where are you drawing your personal strength from now?

A: When I look at all the NHS adverts and my wife and her friends who are all nurses, doctors and paramedics, I really draw my strength from that. You see the photos of the people with the indentations in their faces from wearing the protective masks and all the hard work they're doing.

We take everything for granted but I can't see too many people doing that anymore. It's a complete reality check on what's important in life.

Q: Sports fans are staying at home too. Can you recommend a book, film and a box set?

A: For a book, I would say Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed. That's my favourite book. It's about aviation having the best protocol to identify mistakes and use them to improve. So it says we should use that sort of thinking in every walk of life, and in sport, to get better. It's easy reading.

My favourite show I've watched on TV is called the Looming Tower, which is on Amazon. It's about what happened the Twin Towers. I've never been as moved watching something in my life.

For some reason, when I go through something depressing or tough, I watch Tom Hanks movies so I would say either Castaway or The Terminal for a film.


Andy Waterworth with wife Lisa on their wedding day with the title and Irish Cup. Photo: Mark Marlow/Pacemaker

Andy Waterworth with wife Lisa on their wedding day with the title and Irish Cup. Photo: Mark Marlow/Pacemaker

Andy Waterworth with wife Lisa on their wedding day with the title and Irish Cup. Photo: Mark Marlow/Pacemaker


Q: What life lessons are you learning from this crisis?

A: The life lesson I always go by is that your health is your wealth. Materials are nothing. We're learning what's important to us and everybody will probably know that now. For me, not being able to see my mates or have banter with my team-mates has been really tough.

Q: When this is all over, what’s the first thing you’ll do?

A: I'll book a meal in a nice restaurant - Copi or somewhere - and have a nice glass of wine and an Italian meal.

Q: What's your message to fans?

Use this time now to educate yourself more in whatever way you want to do that and get it all in the bank. Then when you get back out there, hopefully it will enhance you.

I've taken up golf recently and I'm currently sitting in the house trying to look at how I can get better or improve my grip. Then I'm practicing my chipping and putting in the garden. Hopefully when I get back out onto the course, I'll be all the better for it.

I always wanted to play but I only started recently when one of the guys on a coaching course I was taking, Phil Collins, said he's a golf pro and gave me a few lessons.

I just joined my local club, Crossgar, before we went into isolation and I was buzzing to get going so I'm really missing it. I could turn my hands to most sports but golf's the hardest thing I've ever tried to play. It's impossible.

Belfast Telegraph