Interview: Rob Scott

Image: Fulham FC

Rob Scott is another member of the famous Adam’s family that achieved promotion in 1996/97. Scott made 95 appearances for the club over two seasons scoring 17 goals. Daniel Smith spoke to Rob as he shares fond memories of his time with the Whites.

DS How did you get the first opportunity in football and which position did you start off in?

RS – I started in non-league at Dorking Town for a short spell in their youth team before joining Sutton United where I was a right-winger.

DS – Did you have any role models in the game and do you support a club outside of your career?

RS – As a kid growing up it was my local club Crystal Palace who I supported, and my idol was Vince Hilaire.

DS  How did the move to Fulham materialise and what attracted you to sign for us at the time?

RS – I’d played against Fulham the season before whilst on loan at Scarborough from Sheffield United and played really well, Micky Adams was player-coach at the time and he’d had a chat with me after the game. I went back to United and started the following season but quickly fell out of favour with a new manager coming in. Alan Cork had been a player as well when I was at United so there was a link there. In short, I just wanted to play Football and it meant coming back home, so they made an offer and I jumped at it.

DS – What was your relationship with Micky like and did you notice a difference between the way he approached players like yourself who were signed by him compared to those who were his teammates before he got the manager’s job?

RS – Micky was great for me and gave me a chance to get my career up and running, he was very hard but also fair and treated everyone equally from my perspective.

DS  You scored most of your career goals for Fulham; do you have a favourite goal and why do you think you were more clinical in front of goal for us compared to your other clubs?

RS – Basically after I left Fulham I reverted to a wingback/fullback so that’s why the goals dried up. My favourite goal for Fulham was a back-post volley against Torquay at the Cottage. I remember it as Van Basten like but in reality, probably not quite that good.

DS – Some quick-fire questions for you Rob. Closest mates?

RS – Martin Thomas and later Ian McGuckin.

DS – Roommates?

RS – If memory serves right Thommo and Paul Watson.

DS – Biggest moaner?

RS – Easy, Morgs.

DS – Favourite match?

RS – Mansfield away, clinching promotion was class.

DS – Best player?

RS – We had some great young players and older lads so tough one to say so I’ll sit on the fence!

DS – The joker?

RS – Darren Freeman usually against Corky

DS – Best & Worst trainers and why?

RS – Best: Glenn Cockerill/Martin Thomas. Worst: Morgs.

DS Biggest voices in the dressing room?

RS – Morgs/Mark Walton/Glenn Cockerill.

DS  Your teammates that I’ve spoken to already have mixed views regarding the rule change for goals scored overruling goal difference that season. Is it something that annoyed you either at the time or now when you look back. Or possibly both?!

RS – Not really, I don’t remember mulling over it too much probably the innocence of youth and just happy to win promotion at the time. You can’t change it now, so it doesn’t bother me too much I still have a promotion under my belt so happy days.

DS  What was the atmosphere like at Carlisle and Mansfield away? It must have been special scenes on the pitch and in the dressing room. Did you have a party that night?

RS – They were both great days and the sense of relief more than anything after a long hard season. Yes, we liked a party us lot and the bus was always rocking after a good result with Glenn and Walt’s on the karaoke.

DS  Why did you miss the final three games of the season and having played the whole campaign was it gutting to miss the ‘party’ games?

RS – In truth, my form had dipped a bit in the last couple of months due to it being my first real full season. Micky had also played me in the reserves and I damaged my ankle ligaments which ruled me out. Yes, it was gutting but I think I’d played my part and to play upwards of 40 games that season was great really.

DS  When you heard that Al Fayed was buying the club, were you excited, or did you think “they’re probably going to buy expensive players and replace me!”?

RS – Yep that’s exactly what I thought, and I wasn’t the only one to think that way. To be fair that’s exactly what happened. It was a bit disappointing, but that’s football and I can’t complain how my career panned out after that.

DS  Even after Micky was replaced by Ray Wilkins you still got into the side for a few months. What was Ray like and what changed for you to just drop out of favour?

RS – Ray is a class act and I really thought he was great, he treated everyone equally so kudos to him for that. The arrival of better players was the reason and I think I could see the writing on the wall and it affected my performances knowing that I’d soon be out.

DS  Do you keep in touch with anyone from your Fulham days?

RS – The reunion last year enabled me to get back in touch with some of the lads and I hope we will all meet up again soon. Unfortunately, football spreads people all over the country and makes it difficult.

DS  What was it like coming back to the Cottage for the 1996/97 promotion reunion in November 2017?

RS – Brilliant and I loved every minute, it was like walking back into the dressing room again and having never been away.

DS  Did the experience of getting promoted with us help you during the promotion run-in with Rotherham?

RS – I’m not sure but the overriding factor was we had very similar squads in terms of a tight group who worked very hard for each other.

DS  You were a joint manager with Paul Hurst on three occasions with different clubs, how does that kind of ‘job share’ come about and how does it work? Was it hard to stamp your own print on things and did you enjoy management?

RS – I fell into it really having gone back into non-league towards the end of my playing days, it has a shelf life in that sort of relationship and it doesn’t really work long term as I found out!!

Ultimately you can never do what you want 100% so it is a little frustrating. As for is it enjoyable, that’s a definite NO!!

DS  Did you get any stick as a Brentford employee for getting promoted with Fulham?

RS – No not really, they probably don’t even remember I was a player as it’s that long ago!!

DS What are you up to now?

RS – I’m scouting full time for Watford and working with the FA in their Talent ID Education Department.

DS  Finally Rob… pie or pasty, which filling?

RS- Pie, Steak and Mushroom please.