Former Yeovil Town defender/midfielder Rob Cousins spoke to BBC Bristol presenter Geoff Twentyman on Friday 3rd September 2010 ahead of his testimonial match between Paulton Rovers and Bristol City.
GT: Next Tuesday is the reason why we're having this chat. You've got a pretty special night, haven't you?
RC: Yes, I'm very fortunate that Paulton and Bristol City have agreed to play a testimonial game for the 1,000th game I played last year.
GT: 1,000 is an extraordinary number of games. Where did it start? Give us a whistle-stop tour of where you've played.
RC: I started at Bristol City as an apprentice. I played one first team game under Terry Cooper. That was against Bristol Rovers in the cup. Joe Jordan came in and took over there and brought in his own players, so I was no longer required there. So after a few trial periods with Exeter City and Bristol Rovers, whilst you were there yourself, I signed for Bath City. I was there for seven years, with six years of that in the Conference. I then moved down to Yeovil for four years. I then moved to Forest Green for two years, Tiverton for three years, then back up into Bristol with Mangotsfield, then Paulton for three years, and now I'm at Yate Town.
GT: You must have had a few good memories along the way.
RC: Whilst I was at Bath, I had numerous FA Cup runs. I remember winning away at Cardiff City and taking Stoke City to a replay. At Yeovil, we won against Northampton Town. Then back at Bath, we beat Hereford United away, who were then in the league. I was very fortunate whilst I was at Yeovil to pick up three international caps (for the National Game XI) against Italy, Holland and Wales. I was in the FA Trophy Final with Forest Green and then more recently was in the FA Cup whilst playing for Paulton against Norwich City.
GT: You must have played for a few interesting managers.
RC: I was fortunate to play under a few international players, like Terry Cooper, who was a very good manager, in my opinion - a real man's manager and you learned a lot from him. Obviously there was Joe Jordan, who played at the highest level. During my short time at Bristol Rovers, I was under Gerry Francis. Then there was Tony Ricketts, who is a local man and very passionate. Onto Forest Green and we had Nigel Spink and David Norton who had both played at the highest level. So yes, there's been some very interesting managers who had plenty to say.
GT: It's next Tuesday (7th September). Paulton against a Bristol City XI. So who is playing?
RC: That's right. Because it is the international break, hopefully there will be a number of players from Bristol City's first team trying to get a game, particularly if someone has just come back from injury. The first half will be a Paulton side from those I've played with over the years. The second half will be a mixture of players from Bath, Yeovil, Tiverton and Forest Green, with the likes of Dean Birkby, Grantley Dicks, Dave Mogg and Jerry Gill from Bath. From Yeovil, Terry Skiverton is coming up with Tony Pounder with maybe Leroy Whale and possibly Graham Roberts may be making an appearance.
GT: Graham Roberts, the former manager?
RC: That's right. I spoke to him last week and he is hoping to come down. From Forest Green, there's Steve Perrin and Billy Clarke. Then Nathan Rudge is coming from Tiverton.
GT: So what time's kick-off?
RC: It's 7.30p.m. on Tuesday. It's five pounds for adults and #2.50 for OAPs and children under 16. Hopefully the weather will stay nice, but there is shelter here.
GT: How long can you keep playing?
RC: I don't feel too bad. It's when the game starts passing me by that I think I'll be honest with myself and say enough's enough. But I feel good, I'm enjoying football. I'm still hungry to win and do well, and long may it continue.
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