I’m falling asleep in the Chesterfield on the shop floor when I get offered ten minutes on the phone with Daniel Sturridge. I’ve got time for Danny Boy so I tell the PR girl to make it happen.
‘What are you going to ask him?’ She writes. ‘Can you send me an interview you’ve done before?’
‘I’m not up for pre-format,’ I send her the Idris Elba article, not the Calum Chambers one where I got pulled out of the interview after 6 minutes. ‘I prefer a more organic conversation.’
‘What about topics, what do you want to talk about?‘
‘I want to talk about Danny Boy’s dance and Emre Can’s hair.’
‘We’re going to have to make this pre-format’.
God damn it!
I smash out 10 questions, send them over (leaving out the Emre Can question). The interview is now in the hands of the gods. A certain fashion house and a certain football club have to eyeball the questions and sign off on it. I finish work and I’ve heard nothing back from the PR team. The only possible lead I might have to finding out Emre’s oil-slick secret may have gone forever. I’m like Al Pacino in Heat after the robbery calling up all the steak-outs:
‘You know what, Mcaauualy is gone. BANG flying like a bird.’
‘What are you talking about Vincent, we still have bait, maybe a little time.’
Next day 12.10pm, a call comes through, 0151 code. I know that code. I didn’t spend 3 years in Liverpool and not figure out the regional code.
‘Peter I’ve got Daniel here.’
‘Put him on‘. A slight pause.
‘Hello?’ It’s Daniel. Daaaaaamn Daniel!
Hi Daniel, I’m Pete, big Liverpool fan so this is a real treat for me, thanks for taking the time out to talk to me?
It’s all good. It’s all good.
I smudge over the pre-formatted questions,
What does Emre put in his hair? I’ve gone off piste. I imagine the PR girl frantically rolodexing through sheets of paper wondering searching for the Emre Can hair product question.
I don’t know, but that hair is the same on and off the field.
It’s like his hair only has one gear.
It’s always slicked back, it’s not going anywhere.
Your recent goal in Liverpool’s semi cup victory against Villareal, your celebration lacked the signature dance. It was almost a more impassioned celebration. Was this your most important goal for Liverpool?
It didn’t really feel right to do the dance. Often I score I’m quite relaxed, but the importance of the goal, and the occasion. That goal felt different.
I saw on your Instagram that you had a drugs test immediately after the game and came back to an empty dressing room. Did you meet up with the players after and have a celebratory pint or had the coach already left?
They’re really clamping down man. This was my 4th Drug test in two months, they’re checking up on everyone. When I came out they were all gone.
Were they all waiting for you in the boozer around the corner?
No they all left, it was just me and the two guys that did the drug test. I had my family up in the players box so luckily I got to see them and celebrate the win with them.
I know we don’t have a song for you at the club yet. We will get a song for you Danny boy, trust me we’re working on it. (Are We Pete? What are you going to do, hand out fu*king hymn sheets at the turnstiles?)
It’s been a long time coming.
I wish him luck for the UEFA final next week and we hang up. I think it was probably my best interview to date. There was something about Danny boy, a quiet confidence, almost a touch of familiarity to him. Like we were old mates just discussing where to meet for beers later. However regardless of how well the interview went (in my mind at least) we are still no further along in finding out what Emre puts in his hair. You could say the trail has gone cold.
‘Bon voyage mother F8ckers. You were good. If anyone wants me I’ll be at the hotel, where I’m going to sleep. For a month.’