FA Cup interviews

These articles originally appeared in The Sun, December 6, 2015

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Shirt and sweet for Whitehawk’s forward Jake Robinson

JAKE ROBINSON can remember getting shirty with Carlos Tevez in the 2007 FA Cup as West Ham knocked Brighton out in the third round.

After the 3-0 loss, Robinson swapped jerseys with the then fairly unknown Argentinian.

He was so chuffed he framed the unwashed shirt — and today it hangs proudly in his house.

The Hawks striker, 28, said: “He’s gone on to do fantastic things so I will always treasure that.

“He wasn’t the Tevez we all know now but he was clearly a fantastic player.

“Every touch he had was perfect — he had class.”

Brighton’s youngest-ever scorer now plies his trade with non-league Whitehawk and hopes his FA Cup days will help his side today.

He works in the office of his Hawks chairman’s building maintenance company during the day as part of an agreement for joining from League Two Northampton.

He explained: “He’s set me up with a job that will last me once I don’t play football any more.”

But the Brighton boy joined Hawks because he wanted to come home.

He said: “That was the biggest reason for dropping down leagues. What meant most was being with my family in my own house.

“The first six months were tough — not training every day meant you pick up niggling injuries.

“We have a lot of players in the same boat who could still be playing football league.

“As we are all going through a similar thing we help each other through.”

 

Curtis Ujah hopes to deliver knockout blow for Chesham

CURTIS UJAH is hoping to deliver the knockout blow for Chesham today.

The semi-pro boxer hung up his boots last season to focus on the fight game.

But he has no regrets about returning to football this year after seeing what the Cup means to the club.

The defender, 27, said: “It is massive for the players, the fans and the town — everyone is really excited.

“In recent years we’ve been getting knocked out in the qualifying rounds so to beat Bristol Rovers properly in the first round was amazing.

“We just need to keep our eyes on the game, stay focused and we can cause a massive upset.”

The ex-Hayes and Yeading star quit football after losing his passion for it.

He said: “I took a season out to concentrate on my boxing because the hunger for football wasn’t there.

“So I thought I would look to go into boxing. It was a passion I have always had. And I really knuckled down with it.

“But after being out last season I did miss football and decided in the summer to go back. The FA Cup makes it all worthwhile.”

Outside of sport, Ujah works as a carer in London looking after people with serious head injuries.

And he finds the job “a hundred per cent more rewarding” than football.

He said: “When I started I did one-to-one with a resident who couldn’t speak and I learnt a lot from him.

“When someone can’t communicate with you but you can see their difficulties and struggles, it makes you realise how privileged we actually are.

“I was working with an ex-marine for five months and that gave me the inspiration to step up my game within the care home. So now I am doing the fitness rehabilitation here.

“I do boxing with some patients, take them for walks and help get their lives back to normality.

“It is very humbling. When you are doing something to help and you see them improving — there is nothing better.”

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