Stuart Dallas Q&A: From Ed Sheeran to Mo Salah and typing his name into Google

Stuart Dallas has played alongside some of the biggest names in world football, but he isn't one for getting carried away with stars or celebrities. The former Northern Ireland international's self-effacing nature made him a fans' favourite over the years.

The ex-Coagh United and Crusaders man enjoyed a glittering career across the water, including spells with Brentford and Leeds United who he played in the Premier League with.

Dallas says one of the highlights was scoring two goals against Manchester City in a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium, while he credits former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa with transforming his approach to the game.

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The 33-year-old - who recently announced his retirement from football due to injury - was back home last week to celebrate the return of the McDonald's Fun Football sessions this spring/summer. Dallas is an ambassador for the programme.

Belfast Live caught up with Dallas and fired some quick-fire questions at the former Northern Ireland star. The questions were random, as were some of the answers...

Favourite movie?

Probably Shawshank Redemption. Actually, that's not even my favourite. Dumb and Dumber. From one extreme to another. It always gives me a laugh.

Favourite country visited?

Dubai.

Football idol?

Steven Gerrard.

Your current phone wallpaper?

My kids and wife.

Photo showing Stuart Dallas
Stuart Dallas -Credit:Getty

Person you were most excited to meet?

I honestly don't know. It sounds weird but I am not like that at all. I couldn't care less if you're Joe Bloggs or whoever.

Proudest achievement?

A couple. Obviously playing at the Euros with Northern Ireland. And getting promoted with Leeds United.

Have you ever typed Stuart Dallas into Google?

Yes, I have actually (laughing). It was to get a photograph. It is a photo where I look heavy in it, and it was before Marcelo Bielsa came into Leeds. It was to get a photograph before Bielsa came into manage Leeds, and a load of players lost a pile of weight after he came in.

Favourite music/musical artist?

I don't listen to music. Maybe Ed Sheeran, which might be a bit controversial as he's a mad Ipswich Town fan and they beat us to automatic promotion. I also like Snow Patrol.

Favourite food?

Probably steak and chips. I sound so boring here...

If you hadn't become a professional footballer, what would you have ended up doing?

Don't know. I was fully focused on being a footballer. It was all or nothing.

Your house is falling down, what do you save (apart from your family)?

My two dogs. I have a Labrador and a Cockapoo.

Earliest football memory?

Grassroots football with Dungannon United Youth.

A picture of Stuart Dallas with Steven Davis
Stuart Dallas pictured with Steven Davis -Credit:William Cherry/Presseye

First club you played for?

Dungannon United Youth was my first club.

First trophy you won?

I won trophies with Dungannon and Cookstown, but my first senior trophy would have been the League Cup with Crusaders.

Biggest influence on your career?

Probably my dad and my brother. Both as bad as each other.

Best advice you have been given?

Have fun and work hard.

Favourite sport apart from football?

Golf.

Other sports you play?

Golf.

Stuart Dallas -Credit:Getty
Stuart Dallas -Credit:Getty

Favourite sportsperson outside of football?

The motorcycle racer Lee Johnston. He is a good mate of mine. That should keep him happy!

Best player you've played with?

A couple. Steven Davis for Northern Ireland, and Raphinha and Pablo Hernández at Leeds United.

Toughest opponent?

I would say Joshua Kimmich.

Best player shared pitch with?

I would have to go with Mo Salah at Liverpool. Unbelievable player.

Favourite away ground?

Anfield was special because I grew up a Liverpool fan.

Best atmosphere?

This is a bit random but the best atmosphere would actually be Everton and Aston Villa. It was electric at Goodison Park when we played Everton, and it was similar at Villa Park. Both really good atmospheres.

Win the World Cup with Northern Ireland or the Premier League with Leeds United?

World Cup with Northern Ireland.

A picture of Stuart Dallas
McDonald's Fun Football ambassador Stuart Dallas

What advice would you give a 16-year-old Stuart Dallas?

Work even harder.

Best manager you worked under?

Marcelo Bielsa. He was special. It was just his attention to detail. It was incredible. He made you view football differently. He made me read the game differently and understand it better. He was unique.

Best player played with in the Irish League?

Chris Morrow. The one and only Beaver. When he was on his game nobody could touch him.

Toughest opponent in Irish League?

I'd maybe go with Steven Douglas. He played right-back and he talked that much.

If you could go back in time and replay any game again, which game would it be?

I would say the Manchester City game during coronavirus>Covid when I scored two goals, except have fans there. That was a special day but it would have been better with fans.

  • Stuart Dallas was speaking at the launch of the McDonald's Fun Football sessions which will run as part of McDonald’s 2024 pledge to provide two million hours of free Fun Football coaching by 2026 – giving every child up and down the UK the chance to play football in a safe and inclusive environment.

  • He said: “A career in football starts at grassroots level. That’s how I started myself, so it’s brilliant to see what an amazing impact McDonald’s and the Irish FA are having on communities across Northern Ireland through the Fun Football programme. The inclusivity of the programme is also brilliant to see. All boys and girls are welcome, no matter their background or ability.”

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