Jamie Grew Up Around Top-class Footballers Like West Ham’s Bobby

.tags Jamie has been kicking a football since he was able to walk. He played for Bournemouth before being signed, aged 17, by Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool for pounds 650,000 – a record fee for a player of his age.
He scored a hat-trick in his last match as captain of England under-21s against Austria and in March Latex Catsuits1995 he was summoned to England’s full squad.
When pushed, Jamie puts an pounds 8 million price tag on his head and although there was never any question that he would choose football as a career, his success is something he credits entirely to his dad Harry, 48.
Jamie says “He’s been around and he knows all the traps of football fame and the whole deal. Dad always tells me you only really learn by your mistakes and says that I should be careful about trusting people.
“When things are going well everyone loves you, but you have to take the rough with the smooth.
“I do regard myself as very lucky. I’m doing something I love. I try to enjoy it as much as I can.
“But the hardest game of the year for me is when we play West Ham. I don’t wind Dad up when we beat them. It can get a bit uncomfortable though.”
A crippling hamstring injury in his right leg six months ago made him doubtful for Euro 96 but Jamie went from strength-to-strength all the same.
“I tore the most important muscle in my leg but it repaired very well. I must make extra sure I stretch and get warmed up more before every game,” he says.
As a child, Jamie grew up around top-class footballers like West Ham’s Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst.
But his true idol is England and Glasgow Rangers star Paul Gascoigne – because he treats the game “dead seriously” and is a constant source of encouragement. Jamie says he was
sound asleep when Gazza’s name was linked with an alleged incident on a Cathay Pacific jet flying the England team home from a pre-Euro tournament trip to Hong Kong.
He says “When I got back, my mates were asking me why I wasn’t in any of the pictures of players with their shirts ripped, boozing it up. I wouldn’t do that.
“The first I knew of any trouble was when I read it in the papers the next day.
“Paul doesn’t deserve the grief he gets so often. He’s just been brilliant with me. I can only learn from him.”
Heart-throb Jamie is keen to stress football is his number one priority despite a blossoming modelling career.
He says “It’s not something I take seriously.
‘People asked me to do modelling so I did a bit of it when I had the time, but it’s a bit embarrassing really. It’s not natural for me to dress up and pose in front of a camera.
“I can go out and play football in front of a lot of people and it doesn’t really bother me but I feel like a real egghead dressing up because people want me to. I’ve always been interested in clothes, ever since I was a kid.
“I’d save up just to get a shirt or a pair of jeans I wanted when my friends were out buying CDs and that.
“My brother Mark, who works in the City, did a bit of modelling and would buy clothes that I could pinch Lycra Leggingsanyway.
“It’s nice to be able to spoil myself with a bit of Armani now and then. I like a lot of the designers but I’m not a complete clothes junkie. I just pick up a few pieces here and there. You should see me when I’m slobbing about at home in my tracksuit bottoms. Nothing flash about that I can tell you.”
But 13-stone Jamie is strict about his diet and fitness regime. There’s little chance of finding him guzzling lager followed by a curry after a game.
He explains “You can’t be a professional footballer on chips and burgers. I have to train for about two hours every day.
“I love Italian food and salads and enjoy a Chinese meal now and then.
“Of course I love my lager but we’re not allowed to be in a drinking establishment 48 hours before a match.
“It’s a club rule so it’s not worth being caught out and being fined a week’s wages.”
Jamie has just topped a magazine survey as the country’s sexiest footballer. But, flashing his dreamy hazel eyes, the 6ft 1in hunk insists he’ll NEVER take off all his kit to pose nude for a magazine.
He exclaims “What? My nan might see it. And I would be the laughing stock of Liverpool if I did that!
“Me in all my glory? I would never live that down. Not for a million pounds would I strip off for the public.”
And, with genuine disbelief, he adds “Who would want to see me like that anyway?”