When I first signed up with the BBC I was given a letter to send to the Irish Embassy in London. It was a demand to issue me with a 2nd passport.
I asked: “Why do I need two passports?”
” You’ll see,” they said.
The majority of football analysts, it ends up, have two passports. It is particularly useful if you require to send out one to an embassy to get a visa for an upcoming game, as you can still travel on the other one in the meantime. It was also required since the pages would fill so rapidly with stamps from the different nations visited.
In my early days at BBC Radio 5 Live, I had not yet earned my stripes to cover the big Champions League video games, so I was typically dispatched to follow English clubs in the early rounds of the old Uefa Cup. That would bring you to some really unusual places.
- Zinedine Zidane magic and beach ball madness – Person Mowbary’s MOTD moments
- Unusual Ozil interview and World Cup shock – Steve Wilson’s MOTD minutes
Then you include the labyrinth of international certifying groups for many years. My old passports have stamps from the similarity Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, the Faroe Islands and Moldova. Even nations that no longer exist such as the previous Yugoslavia.
You often had to utilize a particular passport for a particular nation, for instance an Israel stamp on your passport might trigger issues at the migration hall in Tehran.
One year I counted up the number of games I had actually been to that campaign. From pre-season friendly tournaments through to the end of a major tournament it was 117 matches – so basically a game every 3 days for an entire year.
Best video game I have actually commentated on
France v Brazil at the 2006 World Cup. Zinedine Zidane’s last dance. He would wind up getting sent in the last, but going into that quarter-final it was widely anticipated that Brazil would knock France out which would have been Zidane’s last global appearance.
Rather he produced the very best specific performance I have actually ever seen. This was an excellent Brazil team too, consisting of Ronaldo, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Cafu, Roberto Carlos … however Zidane toyed with them. He made them appear like kittens chasing a ball of wool.
Best objective I’ve commentated on
This is such a tricky one. Individuals usually name the huge stars scoring goals for the huge teams … however I am going to go with Pajtim Kasami for Fulham v Crystal Palace in2013
I commentated on the game for BBC Radio 5 Live. That goal was an authentic “take your breath away” minute. There was a long ball pumped forward from Fulham’s right-back. Escaping from where the pass had actually originated from, Kasami took it on his chest and from a tight angle volleyed Marco Van Basten-style in to the far leading corner. The ball had not touched the ground since it left the boot of the right back. And the shot was struck with Kasami’s so-called “weaker” foot.
One other thing – the perspective of goals is constantly essential. When you recall at TV photos the video camera is on the other side of the arena from where I was commentating from. It looked even better from my perspective that night.
Many awkward manager interview( s)
I keep in mind when Graeme Souness was manager at Blackburn he was sent out to the stands for scolding the referee. I innocently suggested to him later on that “he couldn’t have any grievances” about the choice. Oh he did have grievances alright and he let me know all about it by bold to suggest otherwise.
Another time I keep in mind broadcasting live into Sports Report from a busy tunnel at Goodison Park with my face in towards the wall attempting to protect the microphone from some of the bustle and noise in the background. In my report I was critical of some choice that Everton supervisor David Moyes had actually made.
When my report had ended up, I reversed to find Moyes standing two feet behind me, looking at me with those piercing blue eyes. He had actually heard the whole thing. The tunnel at Goodison is the tightest in the top flight. There was no place for me to get away.
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Many remarkable end to a game
Uruguay v Ghana at the 2010 World Cup. I was also in Natal when Luis Suarez bit Georgio Chellini in 2014, however four years previously the previous Liverpool striker had already showed his will to win “by all ways required”.
Ghana were the last African team standing in the very first World Cup to be kept in Africa. The quarter-final was 1-1 after 120 minutes and seconds away from a penalty shootout.
Suarez blatantly managed the ball on the goalline to reject Ghana a last-gasp winner.
Listed below our commentary box Suarez stuck around in the tunnel to view Asamoah Gyan blaze the resultant penalty off the crossbar. The Uruguayan afterwards called it “The Save of the World Cup” and said: “This is the genuine Hand of God, it belongs to me now.”
Ghana were scared. Uruguay won the shootout and to top everything off, Sebastian Abreu managed an adventurous ‘Panenka’ chip for the choosing spot-kick. The very best and the worst of football all mixed together.
It was a thrilling night. You couldn’t excuse what Suarez had done, but as his team-mates lifted him up on their shoulders on the pitch at the end, you could see – that in his eyes – completion had validated the means.
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