Braehead goaltender Gary Russell was last seen against Coventry in the Skydome, this time The Blaze travel up to Braehead to take on Ryan Finnerty’s boys in purple.
Recently I sat down with Gary as part of my Behind the Mask series and got to find out a bit more about the homegrown netminder. Finding out everything from his inspiration to his favourite way to have haggis!
My first memories with hockey were going to watch Paisley Pirates v Fife Flyers. I remember the goalie getting thrown out the game for a very large two handed slash which took the refs 10 minutes to sort out. I loved hockey ever since then.
You’re given a haggis and asked to prepare it your favourite way, what do you serve?
I serve it in the bin. I can’t say I’m a fan. Tried it a couple of times and just not for me.
Someone has come to visit Glasgow and is only here for one day, where do you suggest they visit and why?
Glasgow on its day is one of the best places in the world. Christmas time, George square is the place to go. It is also a great sporting city to which the fans are so passionate about their teams. So I’d recommend to go watch a sports game then get yourself into the city centre and get to know the people of Glasgow with a nice refreshing beer.
Irn-Bru and Tennants or something else?
Irn bru all the way. I used to knock back 4 cans a day when I was younger which is a lot of sugar. I’m surprised I have any teeth. I’ve had to cut that craven down to one can every couple of weeks.
Where is your favourite place to visit in the whole world?
I’m not sure where to go so many great places in the world. I think the main thing is who you spend it with. If I was to say somewhere I’d pick Hawaii.
Are you a tea or coffee drinker?
Tea drinker all the way. I love the smell of coffee but I just don’t like the taste. I’ve tried so many ways but just can’t take to it.
Where would you go to get the best cup of tea?
For the best cup of tea I make it myself. Yorkshire tea or Tetley tea. Milk and 2.
Who is the person you most admire?
My mother and father. Could have asked for any better parents.
What’s your favourite memory from childhood of them?
I’d say winning a tournament at hockey and having them on the ice. Both had a massive smiles on their faces and it was a good time.
Making your parents proud is one of the best feelings ever. Kind of a payback for all the things you put them through as a kid! What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? And who gave it to you?
Work hard and have fun. That has just been passed down from how much parents were. Took nothing for granted
What other sports do you enjoy besides hockey?
Football, golf and tennis would be the other sports I play.
So, Glasgow Rangers or Celtic?
I have a team but I’m unable to answer that one for many reasons.
Do you have a favourite NHL team? And how did you come to support them.
Detroit Red wings. I love the history. It was the early 90s I got into the NHL and they had the great European players playing with them. Plus Scott Bowman’s father came from Glasgow I’m pretty sure. I did play with Drew Millar we he played at Braehead also so that’s a connection.
What’s your favourite holiday in the year?
I love Christmas time as everyone is more together. The hockey schedule is never the greatest though. Usually a busy time of the year.
What’s your game day preparation like? Does it change much when you’re the away team?
During a game day I like to stay loose I play with tennis balls to get my eyes used to catching. Only difference between away and home games is that we have a table tennis table at Braehead which a lot of the guys play.
What advice would you give to any aspiring goalies out there that might be reading this interview?
Listen to your coach. Have fun. Make friends with good teammates. Always to to improve yourself a day at a time.
Quick Fire now. Ready? Go! Best goalie of all time?
DC or Marvel?
Celebrity Man Crush?
Beckham. He has good hair.
Celebrity Style Icon?
Becks. Only coz I’m not a celebrity.
Last movie you watched?
Jingle All The Way!
Last book you read?
The Power Within. A goalie book! 😉
Game of Thrones or Walking Dead?
First thing you pick up when you get back to the locker room after a game?
Slice of pizza 🍕 it’s the diet of every away team
Dogs or Cats?
If you would like to see more pieces like this, the links for the other Behind The Mask features are below: