PW7 Press Conference | Joe Ralls
City captain Joe Ralls spoke with the press ahead of next week's Peter Whittingham Memorial Match between the Bluebirds and Aston Villa.
“Whitts was a fantastic footballer and someone I loved playing with," Rallsy began. "He was someone that I looked up to when coming into the side because he was playing at the top of his powers at that point. He was an unbelievable player, scoring goals from midfield, and I had the great opportunity to get to know him as a friend and teammate.
“I've shared many memories with him in the dressing room, team bonding activities and nights out. He became a really good friend of mine.
“I miss him next to me in the changing room, I must admit. He was laid back, but that was just his style in football and in life.
“He had an incredible left foot; he could just pluck a goal out of anywhere. Things would just fall to him, and he would just smash them into the back of the net. The boys would always head towards him, and he’d stand there with his look on his face – I’ve just done it again.
“He scored so many amazing goals for the team and I’m just thankful that I had the opportunity to play with him and be on the pitch with him during those moments.”
Speaking about the occasion, Rallsy continued: “It’s massively important that the fans come to this game. Obviously, we never had the chance to celebrate Whitts because of Covid and the timing of everything, but I think it will be amazing if we can get as many people there as we can.
“I’m sure the fans will do that. Villa obviously had a massive part in his career and life as well, so if we can pack the stadium out as much as possible, it will be amazing for him, his family and his foundation.
“The game is about Pete, but obviously, as a team, we want to go out there and put in a performance. I’m sure it will be something that we will talk about before the game because Whitts loved his football. He was a fantastic player that scored brilliant goals and had amazing moments at this stadium. It will be great if we could go out there and do some of that. It’s a game that I’m looking forward to, especially leading the boys out."
He concluded: “I spoke to a lot of the boys. We’ve seen some video messages already from some top players who have played for the club, and great friends of Whitts, who have shown their support already. There will be many more to come, and I'm sure everyone is looking forward to coming down and paying their respects to Whitts, and being a part of a special day for him.”