Scott Watts, who went to school with Masood in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, up until the age of 16, described the feeling as “one step down” to “being on the bridge myself”.
The 52-year-old killer drove at tourists in a 4×4 on Westminster Bridge on Wednesday killing three and injuring around 40 before murdering a policeman on his rampage towards Parliament.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Watts, who left the school at 16, described Masood as “intelligent and happy”.
He said: “The only memories I have are childhood memories. Nothing linked to anything that occurred this week. Just normal memories of being at school.
Scott Watts said hearing Masood was the terror attacker was "one step down" to "being on the bridge
It was one step down from being on that bridge myself
“He was intelligent, he was happy, he was very polite. Into music, we played football and rugby in the same team at school.
“Just normal things that people pre-16 have as memories.
Radio host Nick Robinson pushed on whether Kent-born Masood had shown any signs of violence at that age.
He asked: “So even on the sports field or indeed in the playground, you didn’t see him as someone looking for a fight, someone with a violent past?”
But Watts said Masood, raised raised Adrian Ajao, didn’t appear to have any troubles.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
“No, none whatsoever, that’s not my memory,” he said. “Even to the point where, you know it wasn’t an inner city school, Tunbridge Wells was a well-to-do town, I don’t recall him even being bullied at school.
“I don’t recall Adrian being bullied at all. I don’t recall him having any issues in his life, no more than any of us had.”
Asked whether he was an attention seeker who set up his own band, as reported by another classmate, Mr Watts added: “No I have no memories of that, but that might be relatively accurate. I don’t recall him setting up his own band, but he might have done it post 1981.”
London terror attack victims Fri, March 24, 2017
ISIS have claimed responsibility for the London attack that killed four people
1 of 10
Mr Watts, who left school to join the army, described hearing the news as a “shocking experience”.
He said: “It was one step down from being on that bridge myself I would think and having just been missed by a car.
“You had to sit down and draw a breath and let your heart settle down. it was a truly shocking experience.
“I can’t imagine what happens in someone’s world in 35 years to change them so fundamentally in that position.”
But it has been revealed Masood had dreams about blood and murder and was prone to violent outbursts.
On Wednesday afternoon Masood drove at tourists on Westminster Bridge, killing mother-of-two Aysha Frade, Kurt Cochran, from Utah and 75-year-old Londoner Leslie Rhodes.
Forty other people were injured in the attack.
He killed PC Keith Palmer, 48, before being shot dead.