Hi Mace! Last November you went over to play for Real Gothic Brazil in Sao Paulo. Apart from the weather, was there much difference compared to playing for Real Gothic UK?
Brazil was an amazing trip! I saw favelas, central Rio de Janeiro, the Maracana, Sugar Loaf Mountain, the enormous statue of Shannon Hoon (or maybe it was Christ the Redeemer), Copacabana beach, the rainforests, some of the worst road congestion and the most beautiful beaches and jungles you can imagine. But the highlight of the trip was donning the black for RGB and becoming the first international Real Gothic footballer.
Surprisingly the weather wasn’t that different to here though: On the day we played, it was overcast, muggy and grey! Tones of home. I must have picked the coldest Brazilian summer day on record to play football! I guess it’s destiny – remember my debut for Real Gothic UK? It rained so much even Noah came to watch.
So how did it compare to UK? Well, we played in a municipal pitch overlooked by a slum, supported by awesome fans, with a team of good friends that didn’t defend at all and played in black – I felt totally at home really!
Check out the match report here.
I heard a story about some overzealous policemen threatening you and RGB at one point, can you tell us what happened?
That was a bad moment. At the time there was a lot of unrest in Brazil because of public funds being diverted from schools and hospitals to building stadiums in the middle of nowhere for the World Cup. The worst rioting was attributed to a group called “Black Blocks”.
So, when a group of kids wearing black turn up to play football in a government-run football facility, with a group of supporters who don’t look like “regular people from round here”, the local security forces got edgy. And these guys don’t mess around, they have guns and relatively low levels of education, and they’re not afraid to show both. They’re protecting the nation, you know? From people like us...
Basically, they put 2 and 2 together and concluded we were part of the “Black Block” movement. From then on they did everything they could to make life awkward for our fans and us. No-one was allowed to drink alcohol (I know, no booze when watching Real Gothic, it’s unheard of!!!); they tried to confiscate our cameras (Tim Payne, beware!); and they generally tried to intimidate us into leaving. The Real Gothic Brazil guys were totally cool about it. On the other hand, Tais, Real Gothic Brazil’s female player, went ape-shit at them. Brazilian girls are crazy and fearless, and a little bit scary – Trust me, I know this first-hand!
The good news: we survived; The bad news: That’s pretty much business as usual for Freon and the guys. If you’re going to the World Cup this year, don’t fuck around with the authorities.
I heard they nicknamed you “The English Giant”. Shall we get it written on the back of your shirt for the next game?
Yes, at half-time, with the score tied at 4-4, little Geovane said “Guys, they may be out-playing us, but we have an English Giant with us! We can win this!” We didn’t, but we came close (9-7).
That’s when I learnt the phrase “O gigantes Ingles”...
Given the size of Moley from Stokoemotiv, it seems a tad presumptuous to bring that nickname back to England. I’m not even the tallest on our team, let along the tallest on the pitch... But I was a lot taller than most Brazilians we met on our trip. David Luiz, you’re a fuzzy haired freak! But I’m still bigger than you. ;-)
Anyway, “o gigantes Ingles” is a bit long for the back of my shirt. It’s not as long as “Vennegoor of Hesselink”, but it might be a bit of a tongue twister for the poor chap on the PA. Although, having said that, I still remember hearing that bastard tailing off embarrassingly when I scored for us back in 2013. Nothing says “We love you, Mace!” like the stadium PA announcing “And that goal was scored by... um... the number five!”. Cheers pal!
I’ll stick with the number 5 for now, I think...
Since you first joined you’ve been played in defence and on the wing, what do you think is your strongest position?
I’ve always been big enough and mean enough to play central defence, and mobile enough to play on the wing. So I guess in the modern game, right back should be my strongest position, but that’s your position boss, so playing me out wide on the right wing is probably best. We don’t exactly play a modern game anyway, that’s just not goth... ;-)
So, simple answer – if I can keep my beloved number 5 shirt and play out wide on the wing, you’ve got one happy Mace.
But if we get stuck for defenders, I’m happy to put in a shift alongside Terry. Just don’t call me a “utility player”, that just means “a bit shit everywhere”.
Any scars from last year’s clash of heads with Stokoemotiv Whitby’s Nigel Galvin? There was a lengthy bit of treatment in the last match. Can you tell us about what happened?
I can’t tell you much about what happened to be honest. We had a clash of heads going for a cross into their box and when I landed, Nigel was on the floor, out cold. It was a pretty worrying few seconds before he came to. I only realised that I had cut my head open as well a few seconds after that. Fortunately, Tim was quickly on the scene to photograph it. Next time it might be advisable to bring the magic sponge, soft lad!
The good news is that both of us have made a full recovery and I’m looking forward to seeing Nigel on the pitch before the match this year. Sorry Pablo, no scars to show either – I seem to have a Wolverine-esque mutant healing factor. Or maybe Whitby General Hospital did a cracking job with the stitches?
Finally, I hear you’re off to Brazil again this year. Any chance you can smuggle some of the RGB guys back so we can use their samba skills in November?
Pablo, by then Argentina is going to have won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and as a result WWIII will have kicked off in South America. Brazil will have deported all Argentinians, burnt all copies of Evita, refloated the Belgrano and sunk it again out of spite. The national sport of Brazil will be no longer be football, it will be cursing Argentinians and Real Gothic Brazil will be a Black Ops team of militants dedicated to Sergio Aguero’s downfall... I won’t need to smuggle them here, but we might need to smuggle them back home after they’ve given the diminutive Argie a thunderbolt wedgie and posted it on Youtube.
They would all love to come over, not just to play for Real Gothic UK, but also to take in the whole WGW experience. Maybe one day... I hope so.
Until then, I’m looking forward to many more international swap deals! As one of my friends said “Mace, you’re probably the most successful English footballing export to Brazil since the Corinthians!” I’ll take that compliment.
And I get to play for the two best goth football teams on the planet, which is pretty special!