Getting to know: Andy Rose

In this week's edition of Getting to know, we hear from Whitecaps FC midfielder Andy Rose

Who was your favourite soccer player growing up?
David Beckham. Manchester United were so dominant at that time. It was so easy when I was seven or eight to gravitate towards that. Growing up, he was the biggest deal in England. On the field, off the field, he was an absolute superstar.

If you weren’t a soccer player, what do you think you would be?
That’s a tough one – football’s been in my life for so long now. I think I’d be something else in the game. I definitely want to go on and coach, maybe I’d start working in the front office or something like that, but something in football for sure.

What or who has had the biggest impact on your life?
My wife. 100%. She also comes from a big soccer family, and we’ve been together since I was 19. She’s always been incredibly supportive of what I want to do. We’ve travelled around the world and she’s followed me everywhere. She’s always been my rock when things are great and when things aren’t so great. My mum and dad, for sure. My mum drove me all around the country when I was a young kid with aspirations to one day be a professional. My sister as well – she’s a tennis coach now and was a top youth tennis player as well. Seeing her work ethic from a young age certainly impacted where I am today.

What’s your favourite spot to hang out in Vancouver?
We love the whole city. Any chance we get, if there are a couple of days off, we love driving up the Sea-to-Sky Highway. There’s so much to see within a couple of hours of here, with Squamish, Whistler, etc. We also like taking the dog to Pacific Spirit Park, which is just around the corner here.

Do you have a favourite TV show?
I love watching documentaries. I just watched an amazing film on Maradona. Any sort of sport documentary – the Man City one that came out, the New Zealand All Blacks one. Suits was always one of my favourites. But my wife usually has control of the remote, so whatever she wants to watch.

What website or app do you visit the most?
Sky Sports News. MLS Soccer. Love keeping up to date. I don’t love the Twitter world, but I have it because it’s a great resource to keep up-to-date on the news.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Growing up in England, I’m quite partial to a curry. I’ve finally got my wife hooked on it, so we try and do that every few weeks if we can. There’s a great one in Kits, Vij’s Rangoli. It’s fantastic.

What nicknames have you had through the years?
In the UK, if your last name can be turned into something, that’s you. So I was always Rosey - growing up and my time at Coventry and Motherwell. That hasn’t really clicked on in North American changing rooms.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through?
Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was 26 years old, middle of my career, heading into my prime. That was a pretty big shock to the system. I’m really passionate about helping younger generations, and cases like mine where you’re an adult and all of a sudden you’re diagnosed with something like that. How do you deal with it, how do you move on, how do you manage your body and your time and everything? That was obviously a shock, but it’s something I’m really comfortable with now, and it certainly hasn’t held me back from doing what I love, which is being a professional footballer.

What’s your most treasured memory?
In life, my wedding day and when my son Jack was born. Those are far and away the two greatest days of my life. Football-wise, in my first season at Motherwell we got to two Cup Finals, and both of those days were so special. That’s certainly something we all aspire to here, and we look forward to creating memories with our fans and together as a group.

Last season, the two that stick out were the goal against Colorado. I’d just come back from a concussion and facial fracture, so to score that goal on my return was so special and the group was so great about that. And then beating the Galaxy away 4-3. I vividly remember pretty much all 90 minutes of that game. It was one of the wildest and most fun games I’ve been a part of. It was an amazing game to win.

What’s something not many people know about you?
Most people here would probably know, but my hidden talent would probably be table tennis. Luckily, we’ve got a table at the training centre. Last year, I ended the season ranked number one and I’d like to do the same this year. We’ll see whether the new boys have any talent.