The 5-minute Interview: Alan Hansen, TV pundit and former footballer

'I only looked to football as a career at 18 I always wanted to be a golfer'
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The Independent Online

The former Partick Thistle and Liverpool defender Alan Hansen, 52, retired from football in 1991 to become one of the BBC's principal pundits, as well as a columnist for 'The Daily Telegraph'. He has designed his own video game, 'Alan Hansen Sports Challenge'

If I wasn't talking to you right now I'd be...

Probably on the golf course. I play a couple of times a week and I always play on a Friday before I come down to London.

A word I use too often is...

"Absolutely". I find myself always saying it: absolutely this, absolutely that, absolutely everything.

I wish people would take more notice of...

Old people. I wouldn't say they're neglected but everybody is going to grow old and we should be looking after the older generation more than we do at the moment.

The most surprising thing to happen to me was...

Ending up in television. I never planned to do it but I've ended up spending 16 years of my life as one [a pundit]. It was a total surprise to me and everyone around me. I had no plans once I finished my football career, which was a problem, so I had to go looking for work. Television was the one area that it was easier to get a job than anywhere else. I phoned up Sky and the BBC to offer myself.

A common misperception of me is...

That I'm not a lot of fun. People who don't know me always think that.

I'm not a politician but if I were...

I would get rid of all speed cameras. I'm all for limiting deaths on the motorways but cameras always seem to be there to create revenue for the police. I don't think it's right.

I'm good at...

Telling my children what and what not to do. However, they take very little notice.

I'm very bad at...

People say I'm bad at a lot of things. One I agree with is that I'm a bad driver.

In weak moments I...

Have "the chocolate moment". At Match Of The Day there's always 10 of chocolate bars and I have to avoid them. If I start to eat any I won't be able to stop.

The ideal night out is...

Doing something with my wife and children, because we laugh so much whatever we're doing.

You know me as a football pundit but in a truer life I'd be a...

Golfer. From day one that was always what I wanted to be. I only started concentrating on football as a career when I left school at 18. I played golf for the Scottish and British boys' teams.

The best age to be is...

Eighteen you've left school, you're young and you have your whole life ahead.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this...

Play to your strengths and exploit everyone else's weaknesses.

Toby Green

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