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My trip to Wayne's world

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Dan Walker | 12:25 UK time, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Manchester United are a large football club that gets countless requests for player interviews. You only have to spend five minutes in the press officer's room at the club's Carrington training ground to see emails flying in from all over the world.

Despite that, Monday was rather fruitful. At 1300 in Executive Box 30 in the East Stand at Old Trafford, I was due to interview Wayne Rooney, while next door Dimitar Berbatov was going to have a chat with his boyhood hero... Alan Shearer. You'll be able to see the Rooney interview this Saturday, while the "Shearer meets Berbatov" extravaganza will make an appearance in the next couple of weeks.

Just to make the day slightly more showbiz, the Stereophonics were also scheduled to show up. Lead vocalist and guitarist Kelly Jones is a Leeds fan but he and Wayne have become quite friendly. Wayne lists them as his favourite band and has the words "Just Enough Education to Perform", the title of their 2001 album, tattooed on his right forearm.

So we had two big-name footballers, the Premier League's all-time leading goalscorer and one of the biggest bands in the country all within five metres of each other. Add in a smattering of agents, managers, photographers and press officers, and it represented quite a throng. They weren't quite coming from the four corners of the globe but various trains and cars were travelling from Newcastle, Birmingham, London and Staffordshire.

Dan interviews Wayne RooneySitting down with Wayne Rooney - yep, I've got a camera sticking out of my head

Weeks of planning went into getting everyone in the same place at the same time, and my normally resilient phone battery was on its last legs by midday on Monday. I was checking with agents that people were going to be there on time, giving directions to various band members, talking managers through our plans, telling a photographer bloke that we would not be wearing make-up, making sure the club had set aside rooms for us to use and ringing my wife to see how potty training was going with my children.

As we - that's producer Anton, producer James and I - left Euston station in London at 0920, it seemed that everything was in order. I settled down to my prawn sandwiches and Yum Yums, and went through the questions we were going to ask Wayne. My mind went back to the previous Thursday, when we made the same journey to interview Joleon Lescott. I was hoping for a smoother journey this time round...

As we waited to board our train almost a week ago, the following announcement was broadcast across the station: "Ladies and gentlemen, due to major delays on tonight's Virgin trains to the north-west, tickets for the 1900 and 1920 will now be valid for the 1950 train to Manchester Piccadilly, departing from Platform 5".

Cue crazy stampede to Platform 5, where old ladies were jostled and young men with briefcases elbowed their way to the table seats.

"You can't reserve seats, you stupid women," shouted a red-faced man at a terrified teenage girl. "It's for me mam!" she hollered back. "What do you think this is? Happy Families?" he responded.

Just when everything seemed to have died down, there was another eruption. A young chap, who looked a bit like a drama student, went toe-to-toe with an old guy who was in his seat. "Look at my ticket... 32a... why are you sitting in it?" "Because it's also my seat?" The stand-off lasted 10 minutes before the elderly bloke played his trump card. "Look, I'm sitting here," he said. "I'm not moving and if you want to do anything about it you'll have to lift me out of the chair." The drama student realised that he didn't really have the bicep power required to remove the rotund individual, so he made a hasty retreat to the catering coach.

I tried to lighten the mood by handing round some Percy Pigs to the passengers I was wedged against in the gangway. A guy with an iPod on full blast looked at me as if to say "if you shove those little jellied pigs in my face again I will throttle you with my earphone wire". Just when I thought the trip couldn't get any worse, a man got on at Milton Keynes who honked of cheese. He was either a cheese-worker or he had smothered himself in Stilton whilst waiting on the platform. Sadly, he stood about six inches away from me all the way to Stockport!

In contrast, Monday's trip was a complete delight. We arrived at Old Trafford at 1145 to meet our three cameramen and sound warrior. Q magazine were already set up for their photoshoot, but, sadly, the room we had wasn't big enough to fit Wayne and the band in so we thought about doing it outside. As simple as that sounds, we were required to make another round of phone calls to managers, agents and press officers to check that everyone was happy to step out into the chilliness. The band were keen and their manager assured me that if Kelly wanted to go outside, it would happen.

Dan prepares to interview Wayne and Kelly on the side of the Old Trafford pitchDan prepares to interview Wayne and Kelly on the side of the Old Trafford pitch

Slowly but surely the protagonists arrived. Guitarist Adam was first up at 1230, followed closely by Kelly and Stereophonics manager Dan at 1245. Two minutes later, in walked Wayne and instantly went for a chat with his favourite musicians. Tony, the keyboard player, was late so we decided to press on. It all went very well. Wayne got his tattoo out, the boys chatted music and football, while Kelly pulled out a rather inappropriate gift for his footballing friend... a Leeds shirt!

Back inside we went. Wayne met Alan, who had just arrived, and then, as we disappeared for a one-on-one interview, in strolled Dimitar. He was really nervous meeting his hero and admitted during the interview that as a young lad he supported whichever team Alan was playing for... Southampton, Blackburn and eventually Newcastle.

By 1455, our work was done. We bade farewell to everyone, I had one last look at Kelly's enormous hair and we headed back to London. I tried to sit in seat 32a, but a bloke who looked remarkably like a drama student was in it!

You can see the Wayne Rooney interview and our chat with Stereophonics on Saturday's programme. We are live at Fratton Park this weekend for the build-up to Portsmouth against Manchester United, so we'll hopefully see you at 1215 on BBC 1.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Dan, there are two Football teams that could be identified by "Manchester", only one within the city's boundaries. Could you please be more specific.

  • Comment number 2.

    Great blog again Dan, loving the fact that the Drama student got outwitted by an elderly chap, was said student wearing the stereotypical cardigan and skinny fit jeans by any chance?

    How do you find Wayne as an interviewee? He always seems super nervous on camera, not so much in post match things, but in formal interview situations he always comes across as if he is bricking it! His Street Striker series on some other two bit channel is quite funny to watch, he seems to squirm a bit when doing a peice to camera.....

  • Comment number 3.

    Am amazed by the samll amount food comments, and although yums yums certainly are a good choice of the sweet variety, I would of gone with a fresh cream split everyday.

    I often travel up to York to see the missus and last weekend was also acosted by a student (possibly drama, he had Sense and Sensibility in his hand...) for sitting in his seat! Maybe this "student" just wonders up and down Trains to the North, trying to sit in everyones seat.

    Great blog as usual. keep it up!

  • Comment number 4.

    Dan, another funny blog, where would Wayne and the Stereophonics lads appear in your list of nice people you have met??

  • Comment number 5.

    Good to see Leeds getting some crumbs from the overloaded Premiership banquet that is your blog!
    Did you get a picture of Wazza wearing the Leeds shirt? That would help us through the next year and a half of promotion campaigns before we sign him up for real!

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    Good blog, Dan. To echo OptimumDJ's thoughts, how was Wayne to interview? He does seem very shy on camera and not at all like the confident player we see for United.

    May I congratulate you on the choice of Yum Yums! A nice variation from the fig roll and often to blame for ruining my dinner. Good to see you've been tweeting/twittering too, not enough football journalists on there for my liking!

    Keep up the good work, always an enjoyable read and watch of a Saturday.

  • Comment number 8.

    Evening everyone. wpgh13 (#1) thankfully that has been addressed already and 'United' has been inserted. Hopefully that is specific enough. Well spotted.

    OptimumDJ (#2) it's amazing how Rooney has improved with the press over the years. I remember talking to him when he was at Everton and it was a real struggle. He is a gazillion times better and will hopefully follow the same improvement path as Mr Beckham who now borders on erudite!

    richwebb101 (#3) I thought we'd go a week without obscene food references. Fresh cream split is indeed a winner though. If your York-bound student had black floppy hair, a velvet jacket and rainbow scarf then it's got to be the same man.

    Lee Emmans (#4) I am not sure they would force their way into the list from last week but they were all very pleasant.

    backinwhite (#5) glad you are enjoying the crumbs. There is no picture of your man wearing a Leeds shirt but if you watch on Saturday you should see him awkwardly holding it. I've got a lot of time for your optimism. LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS!

  • Comment number 9.

    Evening Dan, thanks for another thoroughly enjoyable blog.

    I'd firstly like to make a comment about last weeks FF regarding Mr Motsen. Now I've always thought of Motty as the U.K's finest commentator but the way he spoke so passionatly against the introduction of video technology in football had me glued to the screen. I admitedly am in favour of said technology although he almost had me switching sides.
    Next you food refrences, I'd never heard of Percy Pigs or Yum Yums, but they sound great, although I did find it highly ironic that you were eating a prawn sandwich on the way to OT, were you scared they'd run out?
    Finally like to comment on the joys of train travel, I can only remember the days of British Rail from when I lived in the U.K. doesn't sound like much has improved since the privatisation. Funny that the company mentioned in your blog manages to scr#w up something as easy as a timetable.

  • Comment number 10.

    So footballers & popstars can't go outside without asking their agents first? How bizarre.

  • Comment number 11.

    Dan,

    Sorry but can't watch as I live abroad. Still at least the 5 hour time difference means I get to watch the Midday kick offs at breakfast time with a full fry up (including black and white puddings) with a swift couple of pints of Guiness down the pub, so life's not all bad!

  • Comment number 12.

    brad_scott (#7) there is nothing like a yum yum to ruin your appetite. Holloway2Holland (#9) let me tell you that a yum yum is like a twisted donut covered in iced sugar. You can feel your trousers getting tighter around the waist as you eat them but they are true and strong. Percy Pigs are some immense sweets available exclusively from M & S.

    I agree with you about Motty. I thought he was on top form on Saturday. I still find Wenger's argument the most persuasive though... "how is it possible that 2 billion people watching around the world can see a handball, penalty or the ball cross the line but the guy refereeing the thing can't?"

    backinwhite (#11) it's almost worth living abroad for that! Hash browns?

  • Comment number 13.

    Re 12 Dan, when it comes to common sense and pragmatism Arsene is definetly the man.
    There was a M&S over here in the Hague for a while but unfortunatly all the overseas branches were closed down a few years ago, so no Percy Pigs for me. I'll have to keep my eyes open for one of those do-nuts (Mmmmmm do-nuts) because they do indeed sound yum yums.

  • Comment number 14.

    Dan, once again a brilliant blog. I found it particularly interesting about your venture up north and wondered how you were able to instantly know that it was stilton the 'cheesey guy' smelt so distinctly of. Banter at its imperious finest there!

    I thoroughly anticipate another great show on Saturday, I have only been able to watch a handful of 'Wazza' interviews but, as aforementioned by a few others, I always find him very tentative when he is on screen.

    I know this is completely irrelevant to this blog.....but I have just been looking through the blog explaining you writing Des Lynam as a budding journalist, which I currently am. I'm studying to go to university and hope to do a Sports Journalism Undergraduate Degree, only, is this a wise move considering you opted for an Undergraduate in History? I have already had several work experiences working for a local newspaper and on local radio too, so I have some hands-on work experience. I preferably want to work as a chief sports writer for a newspaper in the future although a career in broadcast is equally as appealing. Whose to say I won't nick your spot on the sofa in years to come eh? ;) haha.

  • Comment number 15.

    I got to take my hat off to Rooney cause despite his quite obvious struggle when on camera he keeps at it. If you look at all of what he does the interviews, the T.V programs etc. If it was me and I was as uncomfortable on camera I would just not do them, Im sure the players have the choice as there are plenty of players who arent in the media spotlght. Of course money might be a driver as the higher the profile the more they can command from sponsors etc, but if this kids gonna be giving 170k a week in pay just for scoring goals then he doesnt need to moonlight.

    Interesting blog, wouldnt fancy it if you have to lug all that equipment. Always wanted to know how formal things are with the interviews with the players, do they see it as a chore, i see rooney was one of the last to turn up

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    sssspurssss wrote: I know this is completely irrelevant to this blog.....but I have just been looking through the blog explaining you writing Des Lynam as a budding journalist, which I currently am. I'm studying to go to university and hope to do a Sports Journalism Undergraduate Degree, only, is this a wise move considering you opted for an Undergraduate in History?

    ___________________________________________________________________________
    You want to be a journalist? With writing like this, you're a shoe in.

  • Comment number 18.

    nice blog i actually wouldnt mind seein rooney in a leeds shirt... he's done great for macclesfield this season.

    big up to the phonics best band live you'll ever see

    intrestin berbatov was purely a shearer fan & wud support who he played for, more common in motor racing or maybe family members!

    nice blog dan unlike the miser above me at 16 who made u simon cowell (or in a journo's respect i guess that shoud be piers morgan right?)

  • Comment number 19.

    sssspurssss: My apologies. It was of course, Cesciooo.

  • Comment number 20.

    Dmrichkt, now there is no point having a dig at someone if you can even get the person right, Im sssspurssss and I certainly have no intention of becoming a journalist!!

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    Morning sports fans. Just changed a whopper of a nappy and an sitting down with some toast and lemon curd... winner.

    Cesciooo (#14). My in depth Stilton knowledge comes from the fact that my father always used to get one of those manky pots for Christmas. I have vivid memories of opening up the fridge door to have my nostrils invaded by the stench of rabid sport socks and 10 week old broccoli. It has lived with me ever since. I know some people love it but cheese with hair on is not for me.

    With regards the other thing about journalism... just keep going. Keep practicing your writing and your broadcasting skills and comparing them to the people that you think are good. If you want an arm-wrestle for the spot on the sofa I reckon I could take you down!

    sssspurssss (#15) it's interesting the point you make about Rooney. I don't think there are many footballers out there that actually enjoy the media work. Gary Neville, perhaps Jimmy Bullard, are the exceptions (and Roy Keane when he is mullering someone) so Rooney is no different in that respect. But you're right, he does feel a little uncomfortable doing it, but I think he knows that he will get better at it and it's an essential part of the job.

    The equipment is heavy by the way. If you want to know 'how' heavy just look at a cameraman when they get to about 50. Their backs are all over the place and they walk like a Thunderbird!

    James (#18) I didn't see #16 before it was removed by Big Brother. Judging by his cruelty in #17 I don't imagine that dmrihkt enjoyed this too much! Maybe it was just that, when he wrote it, it was too early in the morning (00:27am)to be nice.

  • Comment number 23.

    God you have the best job in the world. Do you ever get star-struck when interviewing these players?

  • Comment number 24.

    Dan I have been critical of some of your food choices... but you have redeemed yourself!! Yum yum is a good choice but Percy Pigs!! They are brilliant.. and not only that you offered them around.. Well done that man..

    HAve you ever had a truly bad experience with an interview?? Either through them being difficult or things going wrong..

  • Comment number 25.

    And the would put you on the train, surely with what youve got to take a people carrier would be more effective, and cheaper. 4 people (im guessing) at 50-60 quid each is going to be a lot more expensive than using a car.

    Well I cant match you in the nappy changing department, my five month old regularly takes pleasure in doing her business when the nappy is off, and usuall on me.

    Funny the guys you mention who you insinuate like doing media work, all totally different characters, I would like to meet Bullard out of them all he seems like a good down to earth guy. I would even want to stand in the same room as Keane, strikes me as a very unpleasant little man, respect for what he has doneon the pitch but the person, Id rather meet a tramp.

  • Comment number 26.

    Dan,

    Thanks for the update on your childs bowel movements, hope you washed your hands before spreading your lemon curd...?

    It makes me laugh people questioning Rooney's interviewee skills - the lad is a footballer first and foremost, not an after dinner speaker. How many of us crumble under the pressure of public speaking, let alone talking in front of the camera and millions of adorning or critical fans?

    On a footballing note I think Man Utd looked extremely average last night and before anyone states the obvious that qualification was already confirmed etc etc, may I say that had that been Arsenal's youngsters last night they'd have more than likely torn Besiktas to pieces.

    If I was a United fan, I'd be extremely worried about their realistic chances of winning anything of much substance this season.

  • Comment number 27.

    great blog again dan. just wondering what you were talking to rooney about? just wanna know whats on focus this weekend

  • Comment number 28.

    Wanted to comment on John Motson.

    I think he's an awful commentator, I think Barry Davies was much better.
    I also feel the majority of pundits on all mainstream media are well below par.

    These people comment on games and influence peoples opinions when they seem to have no relevence to whats actually going on on the pitch, a lot of them peddling their own agendas.

    For instance, rafa benitez criticised for leaving crouch on the bench, or for playing keane on the left wing. two things Harry Redkanpp has done yet receives no critcism.

    As I said, there are some exceptions, james richardson, martin keown, guillame ballague all seem very knowledgable and insightful, the rest, in my opinion are dross, and money should be better spent on better commentators and analyst.

  • Comment number 29.

    #28

    The big difference being Benitez didn't have a wealth of other strikers to pick from at the time, which was why his decisions were questioned as being a little odd.

  • Comment number 30.

    Torres, Kuyt, Keane, Babel, Ngog last season

    With Crouch, Baros, Cisse, Bellamy, Torres throughout his time

  • Comment number 31.

    But didn't Benitez only get slated when there were no other attacking options available and he still left Crouch out? Anyway, bit rich including Ngog and Babel, hardly prolific are they!

  • Comment number 32.

    @#17
    Just for info, the expression is "shoo in", not "shoe in". It comes from the idea that the person in question is such a certainty for the prize, regardless of how bad or unsuitable they might be, that those in charge of awarding it would be "shooing them in" to the winners' enclosure; it has nothing to do with shoes. It's not a big deal, but you were taking the poster you were quoting to task about their writing!

  • Comment number 33.

    "Wenger's argument the most persuasive though... "how is it possible that 2 billion people watching around the world can see a handball, penalty or the ball cross the line but the guy refereeing the thing can't?"

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Oh the irony in Wenger's comment...

    It could've been used against him on so many occasions if re-worded ever so slightly:

    "How is it possible that 2 billion people watching around the world can see a handball, penalty or a blatant foul but the manager stood less than 20 yards away on the touchline can't?"

  • Comment number 34.

    dmrichkt, i think you just got told.

  • Comment number 35.

    Dan!
    Greetings from a damp CT.
    It is Thanksgiving Day to day over here, so I will probably consume about 4,000 calories and not give a second thought to your comments in #12 about yum-yums and trouser tightness.

    I want to weigh in on a few of the manager issues raised int his blog. Did Wenger actually say "how is it possible that 2 billion people watching around the world can see a handball, penalty or the ball cross the line but the guy refereeing the thing can't?" as cited in # 12?
    If there is one man in the whole world able to explain how 2 billion people can see one thing but a guy there in the stadium can miss it, that man has to be the great Arsene.

    Dan, are you old school or new school on technology such as video playbacks in footie?

    Also what is happening with poor old Benitez? Bad season or what.

    PepeXabiBarnes (#28) you want to come over here to the US of A and listen to US commentators pontificating about European footballers. Dreadful! Because commentator so and so played for two seasons with the "Tampa Storm" or "Minneapolis Minnows" they think they can sound forth on Ferguson, Rikaard etc...

  • Comment number 36.

    Just in the process of sorting out Saturday's show. It all seems to be coming together.

    Billy Walker-Lane (#23) the simple answer to that is no brother. I don't get star-struck. They are just people after all. Some do have a certain 'aura' like Tiger Woods, Federer and Lance Armstrong but they are all humans like the rest of us.

    Mikey (#24) regards interviews going wrong. I've had Fergie walk off a few times but nothing has gone specularly wobbly so far. I've asked some stupid questions but no-one has threatened to punch me... yet.

    Sssspursss (#25) sometimes the only option is full waterproofs when faced with kids. Bullard is a nice bloke. We are hoping to do him in the next couple of weeks on Focus.

    Andrew (#26) I think many people see Rooney as an easy target. Most of us are just jealous of his footballing skill and would give up at least a few fingers to be able to strike a ball like him.

    city2promotion (#27) Glad you enjoyed it. Subjects are: Fatherhood, United, Fergie, Ronaldo, Capello, England and the future. It will hopefully be a good watch.

    PepeXabiBarnes (#28) It's interesting what you say about some people being able to get away with doing something that others get cained for. I said Rooney was an easy target earlier - I think Benitez is probably the same. I'm not saying he should be free from criticism (because some of his decisons are a little bizarre) but he does get a lot of grief for things beyond his control.

    See you later. Just off for the first half of my cheese, ham and salad cream sandwich.




  • Comment number 37.

    Great blog, Dan and I must also congratulate you on your Football Focus skills - you're one of the best 'sofa hosts' in quite some time.

    Interesting point on Rooney's interview nervousness. I've watched several over the years where he's been the sole focus of attention - including on the in-house MUTV channel - and he often appears fidgety and uncomfortable. However, the other day I watched a Dirty Sanchez-meets-Rooney clip on YouTube for the first time. It was just him wellying a football at the three Welsh Wonders + one Mad Englishman, with the occasional little chat.

    He looked far, far more comfortable in front of the camera acting like a kid, which, I think, he still is deep-down (from a personality sense). Long may this continue, as the sight of Rooney haring round the pitch, arguing with refs and trying stuff usually reserved for the playground is fine with me as a United & Rooney fan (my favourite player since Keano).

    As for your choice of snacks, fair dos; they sound lush. For future long journeys, might I also recommend Maynard's classic Wine Gums and Hob-Nobs flapjacks (plain or milk choc-coated) - mmmmmmmmm, delicious.

    I remember taking a Virgin train to Manchester a few years back, when my Grandpa died bless him, and my mum & I were heading back to our homeland to look after her mum/my nan. There was the usual jostling for seat position, but I also bumped into Paul Parker, our right-back at the time. Me being me, I tried to strike-up a convo with the lad. You should've seen his face - he looked scared out of his wits, bless him! Whether that was down to his shyness or my 6'7" height, I'll never know...

    As for (#18) James' comment; the 'Phonics are great, but nowhere near the best band live (although it's subjective, of course). Oasis, U2, The Charlatans, Prodigy, Verve & Kings of Leon are all a class apart when playing live, fair dos.

    Keep up the great work, Dan!

  • Comment number 38.

    Focus should be a good watch this week then
    Talking about Portsmouth, Ive heard that Darren Ferguson would be Portsmouth coach before their match with Man Utd. I know that will never happen but if you had the choice what manager would you put for the Portsmouth job

  • Comment number 39.

    Dan, if you can buy sandwiches every day surely the beeb are paying you too much, or are you lucky enough to have the other half make them?

    35.......I pity you having to listen to the footy in the states, hearing them comentate on soccerball is the most painful thing I have witnessed.

    I can see what people are on about when they say that Rooney or Benitez are easy targets, in the case of Rooney I think there is a lot of jealousy, especially from rival fans, I dont think he did much to enhance his reputation in the early stages of his career bt he seems much more settled and mature. Time will tell. Most people make a rod for their own back and do little to remove it (ahem benitez). Footballers are individuals and there will be nice guys and not so nice guys. I guess unless your involved some how like Dan is you will never know, and those that are will tell us the nice guys but wont be so quick to tell us who the others are.

  • Comment number 40.

    Dan, Ferguson wouldn't have walked off if you had offered him a Percy Pig... future note.. bring sweets to possible dody interviews.. maybe a full on dog bone if its Keano that day..

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    My last post was removed for being potentially libellous :(

    In this age of American-led 'sue this/sue that', I can't blame the Beeb to be honest. Therefore, I'll just post the watered-down version and hope it's allowed:


    A friend at work used to be a PR lass at a Midlands club. When talking about who she's met in the football world, it was interesting to hear her comments. For example, Fergie is meant to be very approachable, funny and he loves his banter, whereas Wenger is a bit more reserved although incredibly knowledgeable about the game.

    I met Glenn Roeder, Marcel Desailly and Matt Holland during my chauffeuring days - all of whom came across as top lads (and Desailly's lass at the time was absolutely stunning!) My boss back then used to drive Thierry Henry, Ian Wright and a few other London-based players about - most of whom were decent lads. In addition, Arjan de Zeeuw was a proper gent, he said.

    Way back when, I also bumped into the Manchester United squad at one of their Charity Race Days at Haydock Park. The guys who came across as instantly likeable were: Solskjær, Giggs, Scholes, Irwin and Phil Neville.

    My most memorable experience with a top footballer, however, would have to be when I met Tony Adams. This was back in the mid-nineties, when he was Arsenal's towering captain. I had a cool chat with Tony and one of the things we talked about was Cantona's sending-off against Arsenal a few weeks before. Tony remonstrated with the ref at the time, telling him Eric tried his best to avoid him. Top gesture from a top man.

  • Comment number 43.

    Dan, Regarding your question about Hash Browns, then the answer is yes!!
    The Fry Up offered at our local hostelry is:
    Two fried Eggs, Baked Beans,Hash Browns, Black Pudding, White Pudding, Grilled Tomato, Back Bacon, and sausage, along with two slices of toast and butter. Wash it down with a couple of pints of Guiness and you can be home before 10.00 am to do wahtever chores the wife has come up with!

  • Comment number 44.

    Incredibly tall Jimmyhoov (#37) excellent mention for the Maynards and the noble hob-nob is always worthy of a few moments of anyones time. Glad you are enjoying Focus too.

    city2promotion (#38) I think i'd bring back Christian Gross because no-one can really be that bad. I think he deserves a second chance.

    sssspurssss (#39) I do occasionally purchase sandwiches but I also like to produce some magic in the Walker kitchen as well. My own particular favourite involves chocolate spread and silver-skin pickled onions. I know what you mean about nice / horrible people. In a forum such as this I can easily mention the nice ones but have to stay silent on those who are a pain in the neck.

    Mikey (#40) you could well have stumbled upon a plan their Mikey! If Fergie ever agrees to talk to the BBC again I will go armed with a satchel of Percy Pigs to grease the wheels.

    Jimmyhoov (#42) you're back! Some great tales in there partner and I am imagining the terrified face of Paul Parker as we speak. I am 6 ft 6 and once had to do a 2-way on the side of the pitch for ITV at a Champions League match. The camera started on me and then panned down for seemingly hours before it found Dr Parker.

    backinwhite (#43) what a breakfast that is. You're making me hungry and I've only just had my tea!






    Jimmyhoov

  • Comment number 45.

    Loving the Paul Parker panning comment, Dan - what a sight that must've been for the viewers!

    Reminds me of working in Newmarket and the comedy moments I shared with some of the Irish stable lads who live & work there... All 5ft-nothing of them. "Be-jeesus, wouldya look at the soiz of dat big man dere! Hey, big fella, can oi take a picture with yas?"

    Classic stuff.

  • Comment number 46.

    Blogers,
    Re. 'Poor Benitez being dealt with unfairly' He must have known he would be at the whim of the commentators when he took the job, and if that bothers him he should not have taken the job in the first place. Also he gets paid a ton of cash, so a few prejudiced or unbalanced remarks by sit-on-your-backside onlookers are covered by his handsome re-numeraiton.

    BUT MOST OF ALL bearing in mind the sheer, brazen luck the Reds have had in the Champions league can't we all agree that it more or less has evened out for old Rafa? I'm sure Chelsea and Milan would think so.

    Dan, how can you eat chocolate spread and silver-skin pickled onions? doesn't your wife stop you on health grounds? Weren't such things buried some where in the marital vows.
    JH

  • Comment number 47.

    Hi Dan. I feel really sorry for you having to do the job that you do. It must be terrible. Here, if you do such a thing as take on people for a week's work experience, put me at the top of your list. I think I could show a bit of love and compassion and help encourage you to keep you going and get through these difficult weeks interviewing Rooney etc !!

    By the way, is there any chance you could interview Paul Dickson this week who plays for Temple Rangers - and maybe he'll score a hat trick next Saturday.

    Keep up the good work.

    MB

  • Comment number 48.

    blaenorynyclwyd (#46) Don't knock the magic of nutella and pickled onions until you have tried it. It will set you free for the monotony of everyday sandwiches.

    welfare4wobblers (#47) sadly there is no position available at the moment to follow me round and encourage during the dark times but, if the BBC ever decide that they need someone to do that, it appears you have the necessary qualifications.

  • Comment number 49.

    Dan,
    Mundane monotony of Turkey sandwiches has been the pattern since Thanksgiving. Much to thank the good Lord for though.
    I could be converted on the Nutella and pickled onions thing you know.
    Mail some over, along with Garibalidi biscuits, and I promise to give them an open minded try.

    Any thoughts on South Africa's sacrificial calf for the World Cup? I dare you to get a blog going about that.

  • Comment number 50.

    Dan:

    No, the camera was not coming out of
    your head...


    ~Dennis Junior~

 

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