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My Secret Passion: Danny Foster

15 November 2012

Whether it's with a perfectly-timed tackle or a sublime finish, a footballers' job is to get the expectant crowd on their feet, cheering.

Wycombe Wanderers' Danny Foster is used to getting an audience going in a different way, though, as the 28-year-old has a passion for DJing.

"When you're on the pitch, everything goes out the window and it's the same sort of thing with DJing," the former Dagenham and Redbridge man explained.

"You get up there, the headphones go on and you're into the beat.

"You just get into the music, as you would in a game. The whistle goes and bang; you're switched on, and you're in the game.

"You do get a buzz when you do a good mix or you drop a good tune and the crowd goes wild. It's kind of like scoring a goal."

The Enfield-born defender started his footballing career at Tottenham Hotspur and, while learning his trade with the White Hart Lane outfit, he developed a soft spot for music.

Foster believes the big music culture he had around him whilst he was growing up had a heavy influence on his hobbies as a youngster.

"I was at school, the latest music was out - at the time, it was house and garage music - everyone had their Walkmans and Discmans, with their headphones on in class.

"I then got to about 14 or 15 when I got my first set of decks, it was kind of a bedroom DJ start. My dad and the neighbours weren't best pleased with the noise, but I taught myself how to do it.

"I had a couple of mates from school come over and we got a few vinyls and records and went for it."

His career on the field was blossoming with Spurs' youngsters, including making an appearance for England under-18s, as was his DJing.

Except it had now moved out of his bedroom at home and into the local bars and clubs, where there was a crowd to play to.

"It kind of progressed from the bedroom as I got quite good at it," he recalled. "I did a few bars and clubs at about 16 or 17, and then some promoters were saying can I do this, can I do that?

"I did a few nights here and there, that sort of thing, but being a footballer and a DJ doesn't really mix that well.

"I kept it quiet at the football club, I never used to mention it, but I had to be in early for a game on the Saturday. You can't be out DJing in a club on a Friday night.

"It was a kind of tug of war over it. A few people from nightclubs were saying can you do this night for us, but it didn't fit in with the footballers' lifestyle, which is a shame because I had a passion for it and I was good at it.

"I had to put the football first. Saying that, though, I do love my music and I have a real open mind - I like all kinds of music.

"I'm married now with kids but the younger Danny Foster would have liked that lifestyle - jetting out to Ibiza and playing some of the big clubs out there.

"That's every young up-and-coming DJs dream; a good lifestyle. But my first love is football."

Foster's choice of career certainly paid off. He never made a senior appearance for Tottenham, but the education he gained with the Premier League club allowed him to carve out a successful career to date.

He signed for John Still's Dagenham and Redbridge in 2004 and became a key figure in their squad that won the Conference National in 2007.

He then moved onto Brentford, before signing for his current club Wycombe in 2010.

Throughout his footballing journey, Foster has kept one foot in the DJing door, playing at a number of charity gigs, and he has even met some players with similar interests along the way.

"Mark Phillips, a friend of mine who I played with at Brentford - he's down at Southend United now - is into his music as well.

"We hosted a night for charity, it was all for a good cause, raising money and awareness of testicular cancer, and we hired out a little bar down in south London, Bromley, and put on a night of good music.

"We held a raffle, put some signed football memorabilia out, and all the money went to charity. It was obviously all for a very good cause, and we had a good time.

"That was last year and then this year, I played another gig in Bromley, which Mark Phillips put together.

"He got some good DJs from the local clubs and invited me along to do a set, so I played there. It was good fun and a really good night.

"Hopefully there's a few more to come in the future, it's a nice little change of scenery for me."

The football and the DJing have remained as two separate passions in his life but there's one instance when the two collide - in the Chairboys' dressing room.

Not even a person who has played in bars and clubs can keep a football team musically satisfied, though.

"I try to take charge of the music in the dressing room but you can never keep them all happy, I do try but you know what they're like.

"We go for a little bit of garage or house, that kind of stuff, something with a good beat that can get the boys going. Get a bit of a tempo in the dressing room."

There has been some changes in the dressing room at Adams Park of late, with Foster's team-mate Gareth Ainsworth being handed the managerial reins.

Ainsworth is a man well known for his love of music and, with that in mind, Wycombe are arguably challenging for the title of the most musically-gifted team in The Football League.

For the time being though, the newly-appointed manager, the DJing defender, and the rest of the Wycombe squad, will be concentrating on improving their league position - they're currently languishing at the foot of the npower League 2 table.

"First and foremost, we will take one game at a time and go from there, setting ourselves little goals on the way," Foster said.

"The league is tight, so if you have a good month, you could find yourselves in the Play-Offs - it's that tight.

"Obviously we had a turbulent start with Gary Waddock leaving but the whole mood in the camp has picked up since Gaz [Gareth Ainsworth] has been in charge and everyone is working hard."

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