In light of the corking news that the Former Dutch Marine – and all round Albion legend – Michel Kuipers will be given a testimonial at Falmer, we sent one of our finest to meet the great man. TSLR’s biggest charity raiser and Hot or Not columnist Mendoza went to the Old Falmer – or Withers without the South Stand – for a carvery with the current Crawley goalkeeper armed with some questions gleamed from TSLR's contributors and Twitter followers alike. Of course, our interviewer moonlighted somewhat by penning this serious version of the interview over on his Sky Sports blog HERE. But we have the comedy scoop below.
If you were to read that serious version on Channel Murdoch, you would know Mich played 287 times for Albion having been brought to the club in 2000 by Micky Adams I. Here at TSLR we always joke that the paper fanzine’s distribution is akin to FDM’s in his prime. Whilst his goal kicks would often end up in the crowd, Kuipers was an unbelievable shot stopper – possibly the best we’ve ever seen. And on top of that, he knew the importance of Falmer and campaigned hard for the New Withers by consistently attending fan protests as well as holding placards and wearing t-shirts on the pitch.
There’s no doubt about it, Kuips is an all round top bloke who deserves your support at his testimonial against Reading the month after next. It’s at Falmer on Tuesday 7 August and tickets will be available from the club on 1 July. And the Royals still owe us that win that should have been given to us - and Gary Hart – on 9 March 2002.
TSLR: Were you like Stephen Siegel in Under Siege when you were in the Dutch Marines?
MK: Ha it was almost exactly the same, well apart from the kitchen!
@narly: What was the best dished you served in the army?
MK: I made a brilliant toast, WITH butter!
TSLR: What do you think of new Albion signing Thomas Kuszak?
MK: I think he is a great signing, and it shows the ambition and stature of Brighton now that they are able to attract a goal keeper with Premier League experience and has played for Manchester United. He will be a quality signing.
@Wizo89: What is your favourite sport shop in Haywards Heath? Wisdom Sports perhaps?
MK: Well there is only one sport shop and it is the best!
@Nick_Davie: Why do you only browse The Argus in Sainsbury’s but never purchase one?
MK: Ha ha, I only ever read the back page because the only news I want to know about is The Albion. It shows how much I have an affection for the club! The other news doesn’t matter!
@scoffers: Do you believe that Brighton let you go too soon?
MK: That is a tough question! I don’t think so though. Most players only stay at a club for 2, maybe 3 seasons at most. The fact that I was there for 10 years shows how much the club appreciated me as a player.
TSLR: How excited are you about playing at The Amex?
MK: It’s going to be amazing! It was something I always thought I would get to do as a Brighton player. It is something I worked hard towards and campaigned for, going on the marches, signing petitions. I helped as much as I could. It’s been 12 years since I first started at the club, and it’s a chance for me to give thanks back to the fans who were there all those years, and hopefully a chance for fans to show their apperception back. It’s going to be a great occasion.
TSLR: Are you related to UFC fighter Michael Kuiper (above)?
MK: Ha ha, I’m not related to him, but he definitely looks hard. Hard enough to be in The Dutch Marines!
TSLR: Are you enjoying your time at Crawley? How long do you think you’ll keep playing for?
MK: It’s going really well. I’ve won successive promotions in my time there. Not many players can say they have been promoted five times in the career! It was also perfect for me because I love Sussex and wanted to stay in Sussex. There were other offers on the table, but this was right for me. I think I can play for at least another 3 seasons.
MK: The greatest, easy! Saving Michael Ball’s penalty to help knock Manchester City out of the Carling Cup. The worst, I can’t think of one. There were bad times, but it made me stronger and helped make me bond even closer to the club. When I look back at my time at Brighton it is with love. When I celebrated, it came straight from the heart!
@SamOsborne3: Do you use the signature “Kuipers fist pump” on the dance floor?
MK: Not that I know of, as I said that was done because of my emotional attachment to the club!
@Wilko808: I want to know your gym training regime. Never seen ANYONE so ripped!
MK: Ha ha, it started with my time in the Marines, you were taught to look after yourself and keep fit. This helped me when I moved into football, I trained hard and I still keep it up now!
@jwills72: Favourite cheese please?
MK: Mozerella! With tomatoes and pesto put on bread!
TSLR Killer Question: What’s your favourite biscuit?
MK: I like them all! I don’t know what they’re called, but they come free with a coffee at Costa!
Thanks to everyone for their questions, and thanks to FDM for taking part and answering all our nonsensical queries. Follow Michel on Twitter HERE and go to his testimonial.