The TEB Interview – Peter Ramage
In our latest interview we had the wonderful opportunity to chat with former Palace player Peter ‘Rambo’ Ramage who is still fondly remembered by Eagles fans.
Q. Was it an easy decision to join Palace once you knew of their interest? Were any other clubs interested?
When I joined Palace there was a couple of clubs interested but having spent six months on loan the season before I knew it was the club that I wanted to be at. I really enjoyed working with Dougie Freedman and Lennie Lawrence and knew they could get the best out of me. Plus it was a great set of players to work with, most are still there, so it just felt right.
Q. Who did you room with for away games?
I roomed with Glenn Murray, the two Northerners were just chucked in together again! Love Muzza to bits and we really hit it off. We still speak almost every week to this day and consider him a real close mate.
Q. Which player is the best you have played alongside and against?
Best player I have played alongside was Nolberto Solano at Newcastle United. When I was coming into the team I was playing right back and Nobby was in front of me. Although I had to do all of his running, you gave him the ball and he never gave it away, always found a pass, no matter how impossible it was. Just a genius. Off the pitch he was such a nice guy, a man who always had time for the young players.
Best that I have played against was Wayne Rooney. Has just about everything you need in his position, pace power and an unbelievable desire to win.
Q. In your time at Palace, who do you feel was the most underrated player?
Me, of course! No, I do actually think that Mile Jedinak was. His importance during the promotion season was absolutely incredible. He was head and shoulders above everyone in the league for me. Wilf, Yala and Muzza were getting all the headlines and rightly so for the goals and assists, but without the security of Mile behind we would not have gone up. Both he and KG forged an almost unstoppable barrier in front of us and behind them and above else, he was a real captain. The leader and everyone knew it!
Q. What is the best game you ever played in for Palace, both in performance and atmosphere?
It would have to be the Leicester City away when both me and Damo scored in 2-1 victory. Dougie had just left and everyone thought that the wheels would come off but that for me showed the character and togetherness of the group of players we had. We stuck together and won at one of the favourites for promotion. Plus, I do not get many goals … Ha! Atmosphere was the Brighton at home when we won 3-0. No explanation needed!
Q. How was your experience playing in India?
I loved playing in India, an opportunity out of nothing to go out and I do not regret doing it. Always wanted to play abroad but I never thought it would be in India. To be part of something that has got potential to be huge, I feel proud to have played a part in it. The standard was much better than people give it credit for, there are things that need working on, but that is the same with every new adventure. I really think it is something that has the potential to grow into something really special. The Indian people love football and their passion for it was right up there for me. A huge honour to have played there.
Q. Who was your footballing hero and who do you most admire from today’s game?
My footballing hero was Peter Beardsley. A genius with the ball and an absolute legend off the pitch. I used to always try to copy his shuffle and goals, he was just brilliant. He was my coach at youth level at Newcastle so to end up working with him too was such a privilege.
In the game todays, I really admire John Terry as a footballer. People keep questioning him because of his age and yet he keeps performing at the highest level week in week out. He is a leader on the pitch and technically when you watch him, his range of passing off both feet is brilliant. He just loves defending and if I was coaching a young kid on becoming the complete centre half, he is the man I would make them watch.
Q. If you were stuck on a dessert island with only one song to listen to, what would it be?
Probably Elvis, Suspicious Minds.
Q. What advice would you give to a young player trying to make a career in the game?
Practice, practice, practice. From your footballing skills to gym work. Give yourself every opportunity to make it. It is getting harder and harder to forge a career in the game and I hate seeing kids waste their talent because they are not prepared to work hard and sacrifice themselves then blame it on others for not getting the chance. The rewards can be life changing but to get there you have to give everything you have.
Q. What has been the biggest highlight of your career?
Making my debut for Newcastle. I was never the greatest but I worked my socks off and dreamed of playing at St. James’ Park in a black and white shirt in front of my friends and family, and I did it.
Q. Who is your current favourite Palace player and why?
Current favourite Palace player is Scotty Dann. Centre half union member, but I personally think he is one of our most important players. His all round game is up there with the best of them and how he has not got international recognition is beyond me. No disrespect, but if he was at a Spurs or Liverpool or someone like that he would be in the England side never mind the squad. I really believe he is one of the countries best centre halves, his reading of the game, composure on the ball and defensive qualities are right up there. He is always working on becoming a better player both on and off the pitch too. Plus he is such a humble guy off the pitch. His partnership with Damo has to be one of the most consistant in the league.
Q. What is your view on Palace this season and has much changed at the club since you left?
It has been a bit of an up and down season for Palace, quite literally, but think it is still about progression for us. We have got the capabilities to push into the top half and beyond, and shown that and over the next few years I do see us breaking into and challenging the European spots on a consistent basis. We have got a very good manager who knows the league and a squad that has potential for years to come. With obvious additions to the playing squad I think we can challenge for honours. A potential cup final spot shows we are capable of that!
The place has had a facelift since I left but still has the same core values. It is such an infectious place, those that have served the club well over the years are never forgotten and are always well looked after. It is what I like to call a proper football club, the fans passion has always been there and always will be no matter what league or what position. That corner of the Holmesdale was as nosy and passionate when I made my home debut against Coventry City in 2011 as it was when I went to watch the other night against Everton some five years later.
Q. As a Newcastle fan, you must be disappointed the way the season has panned out?
This season has been one of so much promise at the start then simply not good enough for Newcastle. For the size and quality of the squad we should be in a much safer position but have simply not performed and deserve to be where we are. The club simply needs to survive. Relegation will be a disaster not only for the club but for the city. We have a manager who I believe can bring the good times back but we simply must stay up for that to happen.
Q. What are you up to now? Any plans to prolong your career in the game at coaching/management level?
I am currently at Leyton Orient until the end of the season. I want to continue playing for as long as the body will allow me to. I love playing, it is all I have ever known but I am enjoying learning about the other side too. I’m doing my coaching badges and it has given me the desire to go into that side of the game when I am done. That is what I would love to do, coach. Management is perhaps something for down the line.