Football: Questionnaire: GEORGE REYNOLDS, DARLINGTON FC CHAIRMAN

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The Independent Online
How did you feel when you discovered Darlington had got the wild card place back into the FA Cup?

I always felt we'd get it. I'm a great believer in Him upstairs. We had a chat the night before. I've got a direct line to Him, though he's ex- directory.

Are you a devout Christian?

I'm a great believer in God. He's always been very kind to me. I say to Him: "Can you get your finger out and give us some help?"

Who is your all-time sporting hero?

At the moment, Peter Reid. When you get a man to take a club up from the First Division after relegation, I'd call him the second best manager in the country, after our own manager, David Hodgson.

How have your life experiences before football prepared you for it?

I've had a wonderful life, if you look at what I've done. I grew up in an area where you either stole or stabbed, but I was very fortunate to get locked up in Kirkham jail. I met lots of people and I learned lots in the prison library. You always pray when the odds are against you, and it was a Catholic priest who put me right. I keep my feet on the ground and I always remember the past.

What would you say if one of your players turned up to training in a sarong?

He wouldn't be able to run very fast, would he? It'd get round his ankles. But each to his own.

You're fond of cars. What model would you recommend as a get-away vehicle?

You'd have to be mental to use a car. A motorbike is much faster and you can get between the traffic, over footbridges and through parks.

How do you see your chances against Aston Villa?

Villa have got their work cut out. We'll put in two or three reserves to give them a chance. My boss upstairs is in charge, and if He says we win, we win.

How good were you at football in your youth?

I played for the prison team - called Kirkham Wanderers because if there'd ever been an away game, we'd have wandered off. My performance depended on what bets had been put on.

Were you disappointed to be named only the 87th richest man in Britain?

Yes, it was very unfair. I was put 600th-odd at first, so I rang them up and said: "Get your pencil and paper out and I'll set you right". If they'd taken into account my businesses, my home in Hampstead village next to Sporty and Baby Spice, and my other assets, I'd have over pounds 230m.

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