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Neil 'Shaka' Hislop, the laid back man of cool, was born on the 22nd February 1969 in London. He joined Pompey on a free transfer in July 2002 and has played exactly 100 games for the Blues. Shaka has also had a great international career with Trinidad and Tobago as well as success with Reading, Newcastle and West Ham.


How did you acquire the name Shaka? Where does the name come from?

Shaka is actually my middle name and I have always been known by it since I was very young as my parents always used the name Shaka. My real first name is Neil.

What honours have you achieved?

I'm not too sure how many international caps I have to date, but domestically I won the 2nd Division Championship with Reading, 1st Division Championship obviously with Portsmouth, runners up places at both Reading and Newcastle and a fifth place runner up in the UEFA Cup and Champions League with West Ham and Newcastle.

There are a lot of good strikers around at the moment. Is there one striker that you have come up against that you really admire?

I've played against some of the best players: Shearer, Rooney, Van Nistelrooy, Ferdinand and Beardsley the list is endless really. Such is the Premier League at the moment you can't go long without playing against a striker that can almost be classed as one of the best in the world. You just can't get away from this class of player in this League and every club in this league has great strikers.

What in your opinion is one of the best saves that you have made? Have you one that sticks in your mind?

Not really, I am happy to make any save, just as if you asked a striker who would be happy to score any goals. I have always said that when I do retire from football I will sit down and think about my career and the highs and lows of games, but at the moment I am happy to make any save and hope to continue to do so.

We saw you on Sky Sports the other week talking about 'keepers that come up to help attack such as Schmeichel and Poom. Have you ever scored a goal?

I came up for one corner once in my career against Sheffield United at Fratton Park and the corner was cleared and then I ended up at the wrong end of the pitch running to chase their player and fortunately the referee blew up. So for that reason I can't see myself doing that again any time soon.

Who are your best friends in football?

I am very good friends with Dwight Yorke. We grew up together and Tony Rougier who was playing with Reading until his recent move aboard. They are two names that would come to mind immediately and they were good friends outside of our football as much as in.

Have you any major dislikes in football? Some players have said spitting, bad refereeing, racism, etc.

Obviously all those things upset players for a number of reasons, but anything that detracts from the game like diving for example is disliked by most professionals.

As we mentioned earlier, you were on Sky Sports recently and one of the subjects was penalty saves. Have you saved many penalties?

Yes, I have saved a few, not sure how many though. Obviously the one against Michael Owen last season when I was told after the game that it was the first of my career which isn't entirely true, I did save a couple at Reading and Newcastle. I probably didn't save any at West Ham, which is what Harry was referring to. I don't think too much about the ones I've saved and conceded. I've just guessed the right way and had a bit of luck.

What is your favourite ground?

My favourite ground I would say would be Anfield.

You come across as a very cool and laid back person. Are you always like this?

I think I am quite laid back, I try not to let things get on top of me, but sometimes that's easier said than done. I believe in keeping some restraint with situations both professionally and personally and looking at things in life with a cool head and I feel dealing with things in that way you tend to make more right decisions than wrong.

And finally Shaka, I sold your wife a package on a boat trip in an auction at a Charity Dinner for Tom Prince. Firstly, have you forgiven me for it and secondly, did you have a nice time?

Unfortunately, we haven't had the opportunity to go on it yet but hopefully when the weather starts to get better we will take them up on the offer and I am looking forward to it. Obviously the money was for a good cause and that to me that was far more important to me than the actual prize.