WHO Poll
Q: 2023/24 Hopes & aspirations for this season
a. As Champions of Europe there's no reason we shouldn't be pushing for a top 7 spot & a run in the Cups
b. Last season was a trophy winning one and there's only one way to go after that, I expect a dull mid table bore fest of a season
c. Buy some f***ing players or we're in a battle to stay up & that's as good as it gets
d. Moyes out
e. New season you say, woohoo time to get the new kit and wear it it to the pub for all the big games, the wags down there call me Mr West Ham

Irish Hammer 11:43 Thu Jul 15
Article - What Marlon Did Next
Marlon Harewood: ‘Young players want a pimped up flashy car nowadays – but I had a Fiat Punto!

During an era when Nottingham Forest would still train in picturesque surroundings down by the banks of the River Trent, the calm would regularly be broken by a thundering noise on the horizon.

It meant one particular man was arriving for training.

This was the late 1990s and Marlon Harewood had just begun to make an impression on the Forest first team. But he made an impact every day on the streets of West Bridgford during his drive to work.

“You could hear him from miles away,” says former team-mate David Johnson. “Paul Hart (then Forest boss) just used to shake his head when he heard him coming in the distance. ‘Here comes Marlon’ we’d all say…”

Harewood had spent a modest sum on his first car, only to lavish a fortune on doing it up. At the heart of it were as many speakers as he could cram into one tiny Fiat Punto, a car he admits he was “obsessed” with.

“I’d drive the manager mad, I think, because you could hear me coming from a mile away,” he tells The Athletic. “But I just loved the music and the sound. It kept me going in many ways. I was obsessed with that car.

“I’d drive into training with the music pounding and I guess people would remember me for that. But it was not just a case of me wanting people to say, ‘Oh, Marlon’s here.’ It was nice to have that aura about me, I guess. But it was something more to me. It was the same coming in on a match day. The music would just get me pumping. I liked my car to sound good. It would rev me up to play and get me going.

“I am still the same now. I just have a normal car stereo, but if I am buying a car, one of the first things I do is make sure it has a decent one. You need to have your music, don’t you?”

Johnson remembers Harewood with his pimped Punto being an occasional figure of fun in the dressing room. But he concedes that few people are laughing now, with Harewood having turned his flair for adding individuality to his own car into a profitable business.

“The Punto can’t have cost him anything more than a few grand,” says Johnson, Harewood’s former strike partner. “But he must have spent seven times that on the things he did to it. He had TV screens in there, speakers everywhere — he even had speakers in the rear headrests.

“He was obsessed with that car and he would get some merciless stick about it but, fair play to him, as he has turned that passion into something.”

AC13 Premier began as a small outfit, with Harewood wanting to help fellow footballers — many of them former team-mates — get their hands on new cars and sell on old ones, without ever having to set foot in a showroom.

Now the business has grown into something far more, as the row of cars parked outside its packed, pristine garage at the back of a quiet industrial estate, in Netherfield, east of Nottingham, testify.

They include an Aston Martin, Maserati, Porsche, Range Rovers and high-end Mercedes. Inside, there is another display of pictures and signed shirts donated by a client base that includes Premier League stars John Stones, Harry Kane and Kyle Walker, boxer Carl Froch and England cricketer Stuart Broad. Former England captain John Terry and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are recent clients.

Harewood and his business partner Andy Cole — “not that one” — have branched into “wrapping” cars (covering them in a vinyl wrap to avoid repainting or respraying) and the bespoke customisation of a wide range of vehicles.

“Everyone gets treated the same here,” says Harewood. “We will do whatever people want, really. We look at the audio side of things, but we also completely change the look of the car, if you want. We can change the exterior with a wrap, the seats and the wheels, we can black out the chrome on the car to give it more of a subtle finish. People just want to stand out from the crowd and say that their car is unique.

“The V-class Mercedes vans can get a lot of outrageous stuff in there, because of the space available. We have been asked for printers, coffee machines, big televisions, games consoles — anything goes, really.”

Harewood’s involvement with football continues, too. He is a matchday ambassador at the City Ground and another of his former clubs, West Ham United, and is also a coach within Forest’s youth set-up. He concedes that, as he tries to help the next generation find their feet in the game, he also finds himself conflicted at times in his two roles.

When particularly young players come to AC13 Premier looking to get their hands on a flash car, he finds himself trying to persuade them to go for something a tad more modest. Not quite a Punto perhaps, but not the kind of vehicle that will send out the wrong message as they are starting out in football.

“We try to get the younger players and persuade them to save their money, sometimes,” says Harewood. “If they want to buy a car, I am not going to tell them no, because this is our business. But at the same time, we will advise them the best possible way to spend it.

“We do get young lads coming in who were the same age as me when I had that Punto. Things have changed for the younger generation.

“Stuart Pearce has spoken in the past about despairing when he sees young players rolling into the car park at clubs with a flash-flash car without having played a first-team game. I am completely with him there.

“It is hard to keep the balance. I do not want them to shy away from buying a car, but at the same time I try to ask them, ‘Do you really need that one? Would this one not be better, until you are ready?’ I honestly try to help them.

“When they see other players in the dressing room driving something nice, they want a piece of that. It is materialistic, if we get down to it, isn’t it?

“The players’ car park has changed massively since my day. It is not that the respect factor has gone. People do still have respect. But in my day you would not rock up in a flash, brand new car before you were established in the first team. You just wouldn’t.

“If I had rocked up in a BMW X5 having just passed my test, somebody in the dressing room would probably have taken the keys and hidden the car somewhere! The other lads would have been asking, ‘Who do you think you are?’ They would have wanted to keep me grounded.”

Harewood’s own car journey over the years ticks many of the boxes you would expect. But it began in far more humble fashion.

“I had a Land Rover Freelander, an X5, a few Audis, then a Porsche and things escalated from there,” he says. “An R8, RS6, RS5, a Q7 (all Audis), an X5 again — I have had a few, to be fair. But I had three Puntos to start with!

“That came from my dad, I think. He was quite grounded. He would tell me not to go crazy, so I would just go and get another brand new Punto every year. I had a black one, a silver one and then a blue one. They were always new. But they were still just a Punto…”

Harewood made more than 200 appearances for Forest, scoring 55 goals — including 21 in the 2002-03 season when he and Johnson bagged 50 between them to fire Forest to the cusp of promotion under Hart. Spells at West Ham and Aston Villa followed, before Harewood began a nomadic existence with stints at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackpool, Barnsley, Bristol City, Hartlepool United and a brief return to Forest. But Harewood’s appetite for the game saw him sign a one-year contract with Nuneaton Town in 2015 — at the age of 35.

Now 40, he says he does not miss playing football — largely because he is still involved with the game, on two levels. On the training ground, as well as at his garage, he tries to keep players grounded.

“From boots and chores — none of them have to do that,” says Harewood. “I think it is really good to do that; to learn your trade and understand about privilege and what it means to be part of the first team, by cleaning somebody’s boots.

“People say it is old-school thinking, perhaps, but I am a bit like that. I think you should learn your trade first, before you get carried away. If you have not played a first-team game, you cannot be acting like you have made it. I cleaned Pierre van Hooijdonk and Kevin Campbell’s boots. They were great people to learn from, to be fair, in the position I played. And they both looked after me. They were great tippers, particularly Campbell.”

And the steady stream of footballers who arrive looking to freshen up their rides at AC13 Premier helps Harewood keep in touch as well.

“I like that it helps me to keep in contact with players, with old team-mates,” he says. “I have heard lots of players talk about how it has been hard for them when they have retired. They can find it hard when the routine comes to an end. I have never felt that. But I guess that is partly because I am still sort of in there.

“I don’t miss playing. I honestly don’t. Business is going really well, I love it and feel I have had a second life after football. Football is one of the best jobs in the world, so to have something like this to do now is fantastic. I enjoy every minute of it.

“I want to give something back. I want to make sure these players get good advice — and a good car.”

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Tomshardware 12:24 Sun Jul 18
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
Mex, it's only cause I'm a bit obsessed by stats like that.

Mex Martillo 9:24 Sun Jul 18
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
Your right eagle eyed Tom
It says that in footnote b,
Always read the small print when arguing on WHO

Tomshardware 8:58 Sun Jul 18
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
Mex Martillo 10:15 Sat Jul 17

Mex are you meaning goals in all competitions? Because that's what your link refers to.

Harewood got 14 league goals in 05/06. Most premier league goals in a season for us is Hartson and Di Canio getting 16.

Mex Martillo 8:46 Sun Jul 18
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
Your right Alex, I got confused as they put Div 1 for Div 2, it was the first year of the Premier league and Div 2 became Div 1, before changing to the Championship.
I wonder if we will ever have another 20+ goal scorer?
Last sarson Antonio and Soucek were top with 10!, just making do le figures.

Alex G 10:36 Sat Jul 17
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
1992/93 was the first season that Division One wasn't the top flight!

You actually have to go back to 1986/87 when Cottee scored twenty two for our last top flight twenty goals in a season marksman!

Mex Martillo 10:15 Sat Jul 17
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
Wikipedia says 16 for 05/06

I shouldn’t have said I wouldn’t post more...

Tomshardware 8:47 Sat Jul 17
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
In 05/06 season that is.

Tomshardware 8:47 Sat Jul 17
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
Harewood scored 14 Premier league goals not 16.

Mex Martillo 7:57 Sat Jul 17
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
Actually, Marlon was our last over 20 a season goal scorer, but I guess it was the 2nd Division. But we’ve never had an over 20 goal scorer in the Premier. Paolo was highest with 17 in 99/20.
Morley was our last over 20 in a top division with 22 in the last year of Division 1 in 92/93.
Sorry getting carried away talking to myself on this thread. I’ll shut the fuck up.

Mex Martillo 5:41 Sat Jul 17
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
Marlon Harewood was the top scorer for West Ham in 2004–05 with 22 goals (Division 2) and in 2005–06 with 16 goals (Prem)

Mex Martillo 8:56 Sat Jul 17
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
I agree Chim Chim, I liked Marlon. Yes he was injured and hobbling about. Still had the intelligence to position himself at the back post and was very close to scoring, which would have been amazing. Great respect for nearly being there.
Wasn’t he our top scorer one season?

chim chim cha boo 3:51 Sat Jul 17
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
No, as I was sitting two rows from the front of the pitch on the right hand side I saw Marlon collect his terrible injury.

It completely fucked his ankle and I'm sure those mickey cunts did it on purpose but we'd run out of subs and watched him limp in obviously great pain into the box.

I even heard the crunch of the tackle and the whelp of pain he couldn't help letting out. That he got up at all was amazing and showed how much he wanted to win that bastard cup.

He was a hero that day, not a villain and never ever saw him as 'mr fifty-pence head' again after that.

a completely committed West Ham player who always gave his all. It's a damn pity that his all came up short from time to time..

I love Marlon as he's given me some of the greatest biggest and best memories of playing for West Ham. Right up there with Micky Antonio although not everyone will agree.

Another throwback player not given the accolade he deserves.

I wish him the very best in the future.

Alfs 1:24 Sat Jul 17
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
Mex Martillo 1:16 Sat Jul 17

If he'd eaten just 50 calories more, he's have had the energy. He was running on zero though. Liverpool was so fucking lucky that day, looking back.

Mex Martillo 1:16 Sat Jul 17
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
If only he had put that ball in at the back post in 2006...
Nice read, great bloke.

El Scorchio 11:21 Fri Jul 16
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
PostmanPissed 8:46

Exactly! And I think he got rumbled because one of the girl's friends saw him scoring a goal on Match of the Day, right?

Lato 10:35 Fri Jul 16
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
Marvellous Marlon Harewood

PostmanPissed 8:46 Fri Jul 16
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
El Scorchio 2:14 Thu Jul 15
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next

Although it does somewhat skip over his short but sweet spell as Marlon Martin the interior designer :)

Yep, I remember that headline in the News of the World.

While he was having an affair he passed himself off as an interior designer to try and hide his true identity as a Premier League footballer.

normansmymate 7:18 Fri Jul 16
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
Cheers Irish, nice fella marlon

chim chim cha boo 10:46 Thu Jul 15
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next

It's come a long way from Ludo in his garshly green coloured 'ludek miklosko is sponsored by Skoda' car, hasn't it?

charleyfarley 7:04 Thu Jul 15
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
Thanks Irish

Sven Roeder 7:01 Thu Jul 15
Re: Article - What Marlon Did Next
Marlon does seem a great bloke, glad he is doing well.

Might not be the case at Stoke but understand some clubs do/did have deals with car companies who give players a free car to drive so might have been a job lot of Range Rovers.
Can remember a foreign player at one club taking up the offer of a free car (something like an Audi or BMW) and being amazed that most of his team mates refused them so they could spend hundreds of thousands on stupid luxury cars.

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