At 32 years of age, Thomas Skinner has rose to fame for his appearance on The Apprentice as well as other shows such as Celebrity Masterchef with the London native also creating several mattress businesses and accumulating a massive digital following through his videos on Twitter that often feature his large and peculiar breakfast choices. BTL’s Callum McFadden spoke to Skinner about several topics from his work with UNICEF to his childhood love of West Ham.
You have just been announced as a supporter of Soccer Aid for UNICEF. What does that mean to you?
It really is an honour. I’ve always loved watching Soccer Aid and the game does positive things for good causes with UNICEF so it was a no-brainer to become a part of it when I was asked. I am over the moon to support Soccer Aid and I know that this year’s game is going to be an incredible event.
What are your favourite Soccer Aid memories over the years as a fan?
I love watching it every year. It’s a must-watch event to see top-class footballers team up with celebrities of all abilities. I always think back to last year when Mark Wright took the penalty that Chunkz was meant to take for England... He was fuming (laughs). That shows you how seriously everyone takes it and I cannot wait to see the little moments like that again this year because they always make me giggle.
The games are always dramatic between England and the rest of the world. What does the England national team mean to you?
I love my country and I always watch us play in the pub with my mates just like my dad did when he was younger with his mates. Watching England play at international brings people together which is great to see. Football is a big part of my life, especially with me, because I work all week and then look forward to watching West Ham on a Saturday or England during an international break. At this moment, we have a strong team under Gareth Southgate and I love watching them.
I have to ask you about your beloved Hammers. What are your favourite memories of following West Ham United?
I’ve been going to West Ham since I was a little boy. My dad used to take me to Upton Park every week and I’ve always followed the club since. Now, I go with my mates, home and away which is amazing as nothing beats following your club especially when you come up with a good result. There is no better feeling as a fan than that.
One memory that always sticks with me is the opening game of 2002 against Arsenal. The game finished 2-2 and I remember it being such a hectic game. John Moncur played that day who I was a massive fan of and I just have images of it in my head all the time. I was a teenager and that game always sticks out as being one of those days where you feel a full range of emotions as a fan.
Who were your childhood Hammers heroes?
Paolo Di Canio was an early hero of mine. He was different class as a footballer. Then, later on, when Carlos Tevez came to us. That was unexpected and mad for us as West Ham fans. He was a world-class footballer wanted by teams all over the world and here he was playing for us. He is a West Ham legend for keeping us up that season under Alan Curbishley.
I also have to pick out Mark Nouble because he is ‘Mr West Ham’ and epitomises what the club means to us as fans. A captain, a leader and legend. Another player that I have to mention is Thomas Repka. He is a cult hero at the club because he was as hard as nails.
Where do you see West Ham going as a club in the coming years?
It’s been a difficult season so far. It has been a rough watch at times because we are conceding goals easily which is unlike us under David Moyes. We are in trouble with teams near the bottom but I think we have enough to stay up and I will always be behind the team.
Last but not least, who will win the Soccer Aid trophy this year?
England. Without doubt. (Laughs). No messing about. Come on England!
Tickets for Soccer Aid For UNICEF on Sunday 11th June 2023, are now on sale via www.socceraid.org.uk/tickets with a family of four able to attend for just £60 – two adults and two children.
By: Callum McFadden / @Callum7McFadden
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images