Interview with John Fashanu – Recruit #4

Category: Interview

Why did you want to put yourself through this SAS process?

I’d seen the show before and saw some of my co-footballers and friends doing it. I thought it was something that was going to test me 100%, physically and mentally. It was a real challenge, I love a challenge, whether it’s boxing, football or martial arts, I love that type of thing.


Were you physically ready going into the course?

When I went into it, I was forgetting I’m not the same age as I was when I was winning the FA Cup final in 1988. Things have changed. I went into it believing I was Jackie Chan, but it was hard! The confidence I had built up with my martial arts and experiences, you needed everything on that particular platform. It was tough.


What about mentally, were you ready for how tough it was going to be?

The mental side of it was a challenge, the physical side was OK. I don’t mind if I break down, that’s fine, but the mental trauma we went through while we were there was just something else. It was a battle, psychologically.  It’s a war because you’re battling against yourself. You’re telling yourself you have to do these things and you can’t give up.


What was the hardest thing to overcome?

Going over a mountain.  It was scary but I managed to conquer it. But going down that cliffside facing forwards, I was battling the demons in my head telling me I couldn’t do it. That was the hardest.


You’ve got four black belts in different martial arts, did that come in handy at all?

I’m not going to lie, when we had to do the boxing challenge, my martial arts training came in bloody handy! I beat them, even a young man like Joey! I was physically and mentally exhausted but when the boss told me to fight, I had to fight.  Losing wasn’t an option. Although I couldn’t fight any of the ladies - I would have preferred to get my teeth knocked out and walk out a loser!


What did you think of the other celebrities?

What I realised was that I was in a pit with everyone and everyone’s a winner. Everyone there, in their own way, has been a winner or had to face situations that have made them winners. The other celebrities, like myself, were not prepared for the level that this pushed us. I thought that I was going to have a great time, see my old friend Katie Price, have a nice burger and chat after filming. No, forget it! Everything is raw, competitive, you’re competing for everything, even chairs to sit on! You have to be ready for a fight every minute of the day. I don’t think anything could have prepared us for what we were going into. There was me thinking I was a God and could get through everything.  I couldn’t and I don’t think I want to go through anything like that again.