David James still hates Old Trafford although he is in Iceland.
Iceland is in the North Sea and their biggest celebrity is Eyjafjallajokull, the famous volcano which erupted in April 2010 causing air travel disruption in northwest Europe.
The second biggest celebrity might be goalkeeper David James, 43, who is playing and coaching Iþrottabandalag Vestmannaeyja (IBV), a club from the island of Heimaey.
In a detailed feature in the October edition of Germany's football magazine 11 Freunde the English international receives a four-page interview.
The feature illustrates shows how James discovers the beautiful and lonely parts of Iceland, studies psychology and enjoys chewing tobacco.
James also plays football with his former teammate from Portsmouth, IBV’s manager Hermann Hreidarsson.
“On the day of my first match I had a feeling I hadn’t have in years. A little bit like I just had won the FA Cup. ” the old “Spice Boy” was was quoted as saying.
Still in good shape the former Liverpool goalkeeper has the respect of his peers, mostly because of his collected stories.
Over beer and schnapps James tells the three time Icelandic Championship team how Portsmouth beat Manchester United on the way to winning the FA Cup.
He recounts his fear before the encounter, which United dominated yet lost 1-0. "Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, ****! they were all there."
James had hoped United may put out a below strength side, but Sir Alex Ferguson was clearly taking it seriously.
Haunted by previous winless and often mistake riddled visits to the ground, James intersperses his story with the theatrically outcry: “I ****ing hate Old Trafford.
He has reason to dislike United, as well as playing for their fierce rivals Liverpool - he has seen just seven wins from 34 contests against the Red Devils, with five draws and 22 losses. He has suffered more defeats against United than any other team in his career, 16 to Chelsea being the closest.
”However, we had our backs to the wall for 85 minutes, got a penalty and won, that was it."
it's certainly a story James enjoys telling, able to boast to his teammates of his achievements. In Iceland he is certainly more 'celebrity' than 'calamity.'
image: © Ben Sutherland