Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

No Joking, It Is Time for Andy to Say Goode-Bye! Ex-England Star Bids to Sign off in Style after Successful Falcons Stint

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

No Joking, It Is Time for Andy to Say Goode-Bye! Ex-England Star Bids to Sign off in Style after Successful Falcons Stint

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner Sports Writer stuart.rayner@ncjmedia.co.uk

IT STARTED with mickey-taking about Little Britain and will end with a lot of love.

From a personal point of view, Andy Goode's time with Newcastle Falcons has been a big success.

"Yeah I know!" as the wheelchairbound character from the cult sitcom might say.

Having hung up his boots in the summer, Goode was taking a bit of a punt when he signed a three-month deal with the Falcons last Christmas - but from his first team meeting he could tell he was going to fit in.

He said: "Dean (Richards, Newcastle's director of rugby) put a picture up on the big screen of the fella from Little Britain.

He ran it past me first and I was, like, 'mate, I don't take myself too seriously.' "I just got up at the back of the room and I went, 'Yeah I know' and everyone had a bit of a laugh.

"Sometimes when a new boy comes in there is a bit of an elephant in the room.

"(Kensuke) Hatakeyama's come in and a few of the boys have tried to talk Japanese to him to make him feel either welcome or not.

"It is about working hard but enjoying it and playing with a smile on your face.

"I think hopefully throughout my 18-year career I have tried to do that."

Just as well because Goode is constantly the butt of the jokes - Richards' and his own. Goode, though, is much more than just a hired joker.

The 35-year-old former England international provides the rugby knowledge some of his younger colleagues lack.

He added: "I learnt about game management through my own experience and also understood my strengths and weaknesses,.

"A lot of the game now is exerting pressure on opposition. You have to force errors on the opposition.

"What I lack in fitness I have in experience."

Goode's second retirement really will be his last he says. Probably.

He joked: "I presume I am retiring. I cannot do a pre-season!" As the old head in the dressing room, Goode has almost been a player-coach. …

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