Bob Westerdale talks with

Mark Thomas; Sheffield Steelers veteran
Mark Thomas; Sheffield Steelers veteran
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Mark Thomas, aged 29, is an eight-season defenceman with Sheffield Steelers ice hockey club. The Cheshire man has played 400 League games for the Arena club.

What have you been doing today?

I was up early with the kids, and have been out to the cinema to watch “The Croods” in 3D. A full £48 later we are back home!

Who is your inspiration and why?

I would say my Grandfather who has built up a business from nothing and is now watching my dad and brother run it! I think I will be looking for a job there when I do retire from ice hockey.

Which sports star did you admire when you were growing up?

I wouldn’t say I had one that stands out.

What’s your favourite other sport?

It has got to be football. I’m a big Manchester City fan and go to as many games as possible.

Who is the most famous person in your phone?

Simmsey (clubmate Dave Simms)- look how many followers he has on twitter.

When was the last time you cried?

When my second son was born. Although I didn’t let the wife see me.

Or was it when Man City won the league?

Who or what are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my kids.

What’s the best piece of advice you have received?

To work hard and never give up.

When did you know you were good at what you do?

I have never really thought about it, you are always trying to get better and when you are not then you might as well stop playing.

What one item do you take with you wherever you go?

Would have to be my mnobile phone, I can’t go anywhere without it.

What is the most nervous you have ever been?

Had to be the final day of the Premier football season last year. I get more nervous at that than playing ice hockey.

Do you ever doubt yourself?

All the time, that’s probably my main weakness.

What is your view on social networks like twitter and Facebook?

I’m not on Facebook, but joined twitter last year.

I normally just use it for a bit of fun and to wind Manchester United fans up!

How do you relax away from sport?

I normally just spend time with the family doing regular family stuff.

Where was your last holiday - and would you go again ?

A place called Belek in Turkey, we have been there for the last two years and are planning going back again this summer.

Do you cook? If so what’s your favourite - if not who provides that favourite meal?

Yes I do most of the cooking in the season and the wife does it in the summer.

My favourite meal is homemade Spaghetti Bolognese.

What was the last book you read?

It was an autobiography by Paul Lake called “I’m not really here” (the story of how the former Manchester City captain felt he was neglected by the club after rupturing his cruciate ligament.)

Anyone interested in sports and how players deal with injuries should read it.

And you might see a pic of me in it if you are really unlucky.

If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you do?

I’d be working for a company call MTK Breaker Hire & Sales run by Mike Leech, who are involved in demolition and attachments for machines.

That’s hopefully where I’ll be working when I retire.

The boss will be happy now I’ve mentioned him.

Tell our readers in your own words why you think we’re interested enough to interview you?

I’m not interesting Bob: you just couldn’t find anyone else to do it and told me (Steelers and GB team-mate) Jason Hewitt isn’t smart enough to answer the questions...Your words Bob, not mine!

Favourite TV programme?

Shameless.