Saddlers Gone Global! - Dubai
From our Twitter account we have made friends with Saddlers from across the world. Over the next few months we shall be finding out all about our Global Saddlers.
If you want to get involved contact Vital Walsall via twitter using #saddlersgoneglobal
Our first installment is from Neil Breakwell.
Name: Neil Breakwell
I've been in Dubai now for the last 3.5 yrs prior to that did 4 years in Shanghai, China. Before that was 39yrs born and bred in Brownhills!
I am Regional Sourcing Manager responsible for Middle east and North Africa I source firefighting equipment mainly for the Oil and Gas industry.
When was your first Walsall match?
I had to revert back to my dad for this one, apparently it was 2nd January 1971 a 3-0 win against the Villa I was 5 then, 42 years ago so memory isn't what it should be!
What was your last Walsall match?
Last game I went to was Feb 2010 a few days before we moved to Dubai an awful 1-0 loss to Bournemouth.
Best Memory of Walsall FC:
Have loads football related such as the win against Arsenal away, the away draw at Liverpool, Bury away for promotion, Sunderland away in L1 and Stuart Rimmer hat trick, of course Cardiff and many away days with the banter of a sometimes small but loyal group of saddlers. I worked as a Steward then Senior steward at Bescot up until 2005. The last few years I was Senior steward in charge of hospitality (Bonser suite) and press. I have great memories of the people I met there both players and fans and even being lucky in my Jobs to travel pretty much all over the world, I would still say doing that job gave me most enjoyment.
Have you influenced anyone overseas to follow the Saddlers?
When I was in China I wasn't allowed to drive so my company gave me a fulltime driver, a local Chinese guy. He worked for me for 4yrs didn't speak English but I have a little Chinese so during long trips I would 'educate 'him in football and especially walsall. Monday's he would always ask how Walsall did. Eventually he would tell me the result who scored and anything else of interest, I was more impressed because as he couldn't speak or read English, he wasn't getting his son to go on the web and find out the walsall score! I had a WFC sticker on the car in Shanghai, and I met him again last year on a biz trip to Shanghai, he had changed his car but the WFC badge was there on the new one!
All time Walsall FC team:
Jeez this tough and will of course not have anyone from the last 8yrs!
Goalkeeper: has to be Super Jimmy Walker
Full back: Zigor Aranalde
full Back: Chris Marsh
Centre half Colin Harrison
Centre Half: Ade Viveash
Wingers: Pedro Matias and Jeff Peron
Centre Mid: Paul Merson, Martin O'Connor (Capt.)
Striker: Alan Buckley
Striker: David Kelly
Subs would be: Mick Kearns, Tony Macken, Peter Hart, Craig Shakespeare, Jorge Leitao and Roger Boli.
Twitter Name: dubaisaddler
Vital Walsall would like to thank Neil for a wonderful insight into his life away from these shores. We hope to see him back at The Banks's soon.