Steve Berry Q&A
Boro’s 1996 Conference winning captain on their 2010 promotion
Q. How pleased are you for Boro following their promotion to the Football League?
A. Delighted and not before time - they have been knocking on the door for quite some time and now have a deserved place in the Football League proper.
The fans deserve it more than anything as they have been anticipating this for a long time.
Q. Are you surprised it took the club so long for them to win promotion 14 years after the 1996 title win?
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A. In some ways yes but I think the club is far better equipped now for Football League status than perhaps we were 14 years ago. That said, when you look at the team then and what some players have achieved since I’m sure we would have held our own.
Q. Does it still hurt, the circumstances of winning the title in ’96 and not going up?
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A. Of course it was disappointing, especially for those players who had never experienced League football.
Personally I knew, whatever the outcome, we had not complied with the rules on getting our facilities up to League standard and the subsequent appeal was never really justifiable.
Q. When is the last time you took in a game?
A. I have been living in France now for five years so have not been back to Broadhall for some time, although I did have the pleasure to get together a few years ago with the championship winning team in a friendly against Arsenal - the old legs seemed to still work, albeit for 45 mins, then Cloughie took me off. I’ll never forgive him…only kidding.
Q. How do you think Boro will get on next season, and are there any plans in the pipeline for you to fly over to visit the Lamex Stadium?
A. Quite often you see teams in the past blowing straight through the second division quickly and how nice would that be but in reality, a mid to top table finish and consolidate their league status must be the aim.
Q. What are you up to at the moment, and do you realise that you’re still regarded as a Boro legend around these parts?
A. We had a number of so called “legends” in that team, Sodje, Hayles, Smith, Venables etc…I truly believe that all I added was a little know how, maturity and experience on and off the pitch. These guys were the real stars that carried us to the title and they were a pleasure to play with. We had a really good team spirit. Nowadays I am a global director of talent and based in Paris. I work for the Aegis Group in a subsidiary called Synovate. A shorter title would be head hunter.
Steve Berry’s career in his own words:
BEFORE Boro I was a professional at Portsmouth, Sunderland, Newport County, Swindon, Aldershot and Northampton in the UK. Then I had a year in the German Bundesliga and three years in the Hong Kong professional league before retiring from League football. I then had two spells at Boro playing around 70 games I think with a couple of goals. In between I was player/manager of Kettering Town and left Boro the second time for Rushden and Diamonds. After that I played for a year or so at Bedford Town before hangin’ ‘em up at 42 years old when I left for Paris.