Question Time: Ben O’Connor talks with Bob Westerdale

Ben O'Connor
Ben O'Connor
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Ben O’Connor, aged 24, formerly living in Spink Hill, now an ice hockey defenceman playing for Arlan Kokshetau in Kazakhstan. Son of Sheffield Steelers’ executive Mike.

What have you been doing today?

Today I woke up at 8am, had breakfast at the Arena at 8.45 am, 10am on ice practice for 1 and a half hours then a gym circuit, lunch, home relax and back to the Arena for on ice practice at 5pm for another hour and a half, then eat dinner and finally my day is done around 7.30pm.

Who is your inspiration and why ?

It has to be my father growing up watching him play, his love and dedication for the game has shown me from a young age what it takes to be a professional hockey player.

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

I was a big Alan Shearer fan!

What’s your favourite other sport?

Football to watch golf to play.

Who is the most famous person in your phone?

No one famous, I don’t suppose Robert Dowd counts?

When was the last time you cried?

I honestly don’t remember, too long ago!

Who or what are you most proud of?

Most proud of winning a silver medal with Great Britain at the world championships . I am also very proud of my sister.

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

Smile, have fun, work hard because life’s too short not to do those things.

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

“When I first turned professional at 18 years old.

If someone is willing to pay you, you can’t be too bad .

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

My phone.

What is the most nervous you’ve ever been?

It has to be in Latvia last year for the Olympic qualifiers with Great Britain, the first five minutes of the game was very nerve wracking indeed.

Do you ever doubt yourself?

No, never. I stand by my decisions 100 per cent.

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

Both love and hate!

They are a good way to stay connected to my friends and family when I am so far away, I can keep them in the loop.

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

Villajoyosa, Spain, for my mother’s birthday, I would definitely go again.

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

I love to cook but here I do not hve to, we have a kitchen in the Arena where three ladies prepare all our meals.

What was the last book you read?

The man who broke into Auschwitz, by Denis Avey, it was a great read.

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

I have no clue, something in the trades, something that would keep me busy.

I could not sit at a desk all day.

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

A Sheffield kid playing professional ice hockey in Kazakhstan is not your every-day job, really, is it?

Favourite TV programmes- and why?

True Blood, Homeland, How I met your Mother, anything with action or comedy gets me hooked every time.

Tell me a secret about yourself?

Wouldn’t be a secret if I told you, loose lips sinks ships!

How much influence were your parents in the man you have become today?

Very much so they have been a huge influence in my life and wouldn’t change them for the world.

I am very grateful for how they brought me up and the opportunities the gave me as a child.