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World Cup excitement mounts with Rooney meeting

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Dan Walker | 10:12 UK time, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

I am writing this on the train to Manchester. I am accompanied by a small bag of salad gums, an iced bun and a banana (for health purposes).

I am on the way to get some goal scoring tips from Bolton's Kevin Davies for Sport Relief. You will be able to see me embarrass myself on Saturday's show and it will probably make an interesting blog for next week... as long as I don't disgrace myself.

This week I want to blog about another striker. Last Thursday I went to see Wayne Rooney at a World Cup launch event at Earls Court hosted by a World Cup sponsors. Hundreds of competition winners got the chance to see their hero and have their picture taken with the world cup.

We had five minutes with the man who can't stop scoring and our latest behind the scenes piece will give you a good idea of how it all came together...

You can imagine that the whole place was full of PR warriors, bouncers and sponsor types. Rooney was due to arrive about 3:30 and in the 15 minutes beforehand things started to get a little crazy.

Wayne is actually very laid back about it all. I first interviewed him seven years ago when he won the BBC North West Young Sports Personality of the Year Award.
He has matured immeasurably since then and not only seems to understand the responsibilities that go with the job but is now able to give genuine insights when answering questions.

The sponsors were obviously delighted to have him there. The event had been planned for six months and they were desperate for everything to run smoothly. That desperation can sometimes lead to a little panic... "Can you turn your camera off please? Wayne will be here in 10 minutes" said a slightly tense security guard. "Can you clear the area please? We need space for Rooney" barked another - pointing at the vast expanse of floor that could have easily supported about 30 Twister mats.

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"He's not royalty mate" came the cry from the back. The heckler was correct. This was another example of football going 'Hollywood'.

The stars are no longer 'just footballers' but are right up there with the George Clooneys of this world and with that comes the super-celebrity baggage. It certainly won't be Rooney - because he is well looked after - but I don't think it will be too long before I go to interview a player and someone tells me I can't look him in the eye.

I used to work at a radio station in Manchester and in my first month there George Michael came in to talk about his latest album. There were no fans allowed within 100 yards of the building.

I was frisked on arrival by Mr Michael's private security and told, under no circumstances, was I to enter the cordoned off area inside the building. Half the joint had been plastered with that bright yellow 'do not cross' tape and even my regular loo - was frustratingly the wrong side of the divide.

As I made my way to the newsroom an officious looking woman was telling everyone the 'rules of engagement'. "Please don't look directly at George and you're not allowed to talk to him". Bonkers!

A few years later Westlife turned up when they were at the peak of their powers. The station got a phone-call 10 minutes before they arrived asking for 32 hot meals for the band and their entourage. I tried to get it pushed up to 33 put the boss was having none of it.

And then there was the time that Robbie Williams came in. We used to have one of those garden goals in the office and after I'd interviewed him about football, and his latest tune, he fancied a knock about so we settled on a penalty shoot-out. Robbie took his five first and bagged three of them.

As he then went in goal I jogged to get the ball that had rolled around the corner. I was followed by his security dude who said, under his breath, "You better let him win... all right?". I thought about it for a moment and then unleashed some inappropriately fierce penalties for such a small room. Four nestled in the back of the net and - although Brother Williams was fine about it - his burly security guard looked at me in the same way Mark Groves had done at primary school just before he gave me a massive Chinese burn.

Football is thankfully a long way away from all that but when I interviewed Rooney last Thursday there were 26 people in the room! Half of them were media types but that is still a considerable throng to make sure everything ran smoothly.

The event itself went off without a hitch. Sadly I only discovered the highlight as I was leaving... a stall handing out free pies. I nailed a chicken and mushroom number and pocketed a beef beauty for the way home.

As I left I saw two young girls squealing and comparing pictures of Rooney on their phone. There were hundreds of happy punters delighted to catch a glimpse of a man who, hopefully, has a big summer ahead.

It certainly got the World Cup juices flowing but football has to keep a careful eye on itself or the new Maradonas of this generation could very easily become pre-Maradonas!

You can follow me on twitter


  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

    You would have been better asking Kevin Davies for self defence tips.. He doesn't score many..

    Did Robbie Williams do the wee girl bit and hide when you Koeman'd the penalty??

    Efan Ekoku

  • Comment number 3.

    Some cracking anecdotes all round there Dan. Five minutes for an interview doesn't seem like a lot. Do you feel the pressure more if there's a short amount of time? I imagine that if one question turns out to have sounded better in your head that it does at the time, that could be half your interview gone. How long do you normally get to interview players for Focus?

  • Comment number 4.

    davies will be in the world cup squad based on cappello's "strategy" when picking players. so will scott flinders, tony hibbert, leon osman etc. why? because they play every game. better to have a useless player in the squad because he plays regularly eh fabio?

  • Comment number 5.

    Good blog as usual.

    Delighted at your choice of chicken and mushroom, by far the best pie out there!

    Just a question dan, is Rooney taller or stockier in real life compared to on the tele? They alwas seem
    to be. I met some of the United team a few years back, and Solskjaer was a lot taller than he looks
    on the tele and on the pitch, always thought he was a shortarse until then!

  • Comment number 6.


    Great blog again.

    Did you ask George Michael for a shoot out? Did you also get chance to find out if Rooneys hair loss is helping him score more goals with his head?

    Gary Kelly

  • Comment number 7.

    "We need space for Rooney" barked another - pointing at the vast expanse of floor that could have easily supported about 30 Twister mats"


    What a superb unit of measurement.
    Were you standing three kerplunk baords away from him?

  • Comment number 8.

    Afternoon sports fans...

    Mikey (#2) I honestly can't remember his reaction. I was head done thinking of Ronald.

    anightatthechopra (#3) 5 minutes can be a bit awkward. You have to plan things a bit more carefully and make sure you don't ask any duffers. Like you say, one bad one (or a longun) and it's all over. For a normal interview you get a minimun of 15 minutes and usually about half an hour with the player or manager.

    Imps Promotion 2012 (#5) Rooney is a lot wider than he looks. I remember the first time I interviewed thin Ronaldo he looked huge - much taller than I thought. The same for Rafael Nadal - bit of a Spanish beast in real life.

    Cuzza10 (#6) Not sure George would have fancied a shoot-out and Rooney did once again confirm that the baldness helps with his heading.

    AddickCW (#7) Glad you enjoyed the new unit of measurement... a hope the ker-plunk catches on too.

    See you soon.

    Pascal Chimbonda

  • Comment number 9.

    Irreverent as usual... good blog though!

    Have you ever met any footballers or managers who have acted the diva?

  • Comment number 10.

    lmaoooooo great blog

  • Comment number 11.

    Most Primadonna moment of many suffered when following Leeds during the Ridsdale era was when we checked into our hotel in Troyes for a UEFA cup game, only to find out that the team were in the same hotel. The Manager was very apologetic as he told us we couldn't go to our room as it was on the floor ABOVE the Leeds players who were having their pre match nap and didn't want to be disturbed by people walking around on the floor above them!
    I compalined vociferously in my best French about these poncy Englishmen, and got comped a free early dinner with wine! We then had to sneak out of the hotel in our Leeds shirts to get to the match whilst avoiding the Manager.

    Tony Currie

  • Comment number 12.

    More of a pastie man myself, though I do have a nice chicken and gravy puff pastry number waiting in the fridge at home. My usual supermarket does a pack of two chicken and mushroom lattices that are a bit like a cross between a pie and a pastie. Lovely. They do chicken and ham ones as well, and chicken tikka for those who like to mess with the rules of food. It shouldn't be allowed. What next? A sausage curry?

    Dan, will you be inviting Phil Brown on for Saturday? Considering he got Hull promoted, kept them in the PL and still had a decent chance of keeping them up this season, sacking him does seem ungrateful, disloyal and probably foolish.

  • Comment number 13.

    top blog... interesting anecdotes...
    Dan... would u call rooney a diva in your blog if you believed it to be the case? I think not. That would be quite a mistake for sports writer. Its safer to go with past washed up celebrity anecdotes...

  • Comment number 14.

    Evening everydody

    Vikdaddy (#9) Glad you enjoyed it - however irrelevant. Carlton Palmer was about 90% diva when he arrived at Stockport County. In his first press conference he announced that he would be England manager within 4 years!

    backinwhite (#11) Quality story. Why does free food always taste so much better?

    cheeseisthedevilswork (#12) Thanks for the information about your local supermarket... I often find that you can't beat a good lattice. It's right up there as a top tier food stuff. I don't think Big Phil Brown will be on this week. We might have him on before the end of the season. I agree with you though - seems a little harsh to do it know but boardroom types do tend to panic at the prospect of relegation.

    red_tumbler (#13) Am I that transparent? Ha, ha. I thought you might enjoy a few tales from the past. I can put my hand on my heart (which I am not doing now because tying with one hand is pretty slow going) and say that I honestly think that - from my experience - Rooney has become less precious as he has grown in significance. I think, because of his fame, people feel they need to act in a certain way around him.

    Right I am off to wash the bottles for child number 2 and I shall see you on the fairest of Thursday morns. Have a good one.

    Ken Monkou

  • Comment number 15.

    Fun and creative. You are a veritable blog artist. I just went back & checked on another blog of yours "Winning hearts & minds" re taking 2x girls to footie for first time. Same thing. Quality. Very enjoyable read. You clearly enjoy language.

  • Comment number 16.

    It's true #11, those footballers hate to be disturbed. My mates and I once decided to go and watch Cardiff train, back when they used to train in a grubby old park near my old school, so I'd have been about fourteen. The players were all doing laps of the pitch, and we applauded and cheered as they went past. When they next came round, Graham Kavanagh cut our cheering short by telling us to 'get jogging or eff off'. To this day I regret choosing the latter option.

    #12 if you're going to play the 'rules of food' card then the lattice has no place in the pastry domain, my friend. For what is a lattice if it isn't a pasty with some of the pastry missing?

    Jose Dominguez

  • Comment number 17.

    Dan, I bet you wished you'd have taken a bottle of Henderson's when you spotted the free pies!

  • Comment number 18.

    You must be joking
    ''It certainly got the World Cup juices flowing but football has to keep a careful eye on itself or the new Maradonas of this generation could very easily become pre-Maradonas!''

    That happened a good few years ago me thinks, the pampering for footballers has reached epic levels. Is there nothing they dont have done for them? I met a fella who worked for chelsea and some of the things he was telling me was quite shocking, Id be embarrassed if I had that level of bum wiping going on in my life.

    CAnt beat a steak and ale pie tho,

    Ruel Fox

    They might not have the entourage that the other celebs have, but they have a life so far removed from reality its a bit sad really.

  • Comment number 19.

    Think we need to be fair to footballers in this instance (if not in many others). I've had limited dealings with the 'top' names in the sport but of those I have met (Giggs, Ginola, G Neville, Shearer, A Cole and a few others) they have generally been completely down to earth. If anything, they are usually quite apologetic about all of the security and PA people and find it something of an embarassment.

  • Comment number 20.

    George Michael and a loo frustratingly the wrong side of the divide?
    Naughty naughty Mr Walker.

    Yuri Zhirkov

  • Comment number 21.

    I am enjoying the new board game inspired units of measurement, however I dont think Kerplunk uses a board, I would call it more of a tower. Also, surely it would be a unit of height i.e. Rooneys bouncer was 31/2 Kerplunks tall (and probably 4 wide!)

    Duncan Ferguson

  • Comment number 22.

    Here is that celebrated day when we laughed in the face of Williams security guard. Me being a Stoke fan made our victory even more sweet...

    Check out the helmet gallery

  • Comment number 23.

    Was the George Michael 'half the joint' pun intentional?

  • Comment number 24.

    # 12 ... Dont agree with lattices.. anything that can encase either savoury or sweet fillings are cheating.. unless its at the same time!

    Big John Hartson was easily the nicest footballer I've ever met.. great guy and took a load of jerseys off the few of us who were there and went into the Celtic changing room and came back 10mins later with the full team's signatures on them.. He used to do that for this guy a couple of times a week for raffles at the nearby hospital..

    Justin Edinburgh.

  • Comment number 25.

    I must have missed something in an earlier blog, whats with putting a random players name at the end a post??? confused!

  • Comment number 26.

    Sorry but I don't actually believe your story about Robbie Williams's security guard saying 'you better let him win'! Sounds like you were desperate to drop another name and it's the only thing you could come up with...

  • Comment number 27.

    P.S Why do you have to be Indiana Jones to find this blog every week. If I didn't link from Dan's Twitter I would need a map and the Staff of Ra to find it.

  • Comment number 28.

    Great Blog as usual.

    I wonder if Wayne Rooney will become more of a hindrence rather than a help at The World Cup with his ever growing Entourage replacing that of Mr Beckham. And is anyone else worried that we are picking a strike partner for him rather than a striker that scores goals like Darren Bent? Hes got 19 already this season up at Sunderland but because he didnt seem to "gel" in 65 minutes with Wayne Rooney then he's overlooked. I would pick him over Heskey or Cole anyday of the week.

  • Comment number 29.

    "As he then went in goal I jogged to get the ball that had rolled around the corner."

    Great to read that the significance of the penalty shoot out was such that orthodox office gait was ignored.

    Dalian Atkinson

  • Comment number 30.

    Dan, just saw you on the Sport Relief vid training up on the bike. You seriously need to get some meat on those bones, your legs look like two little twigs. Keep eating.

  • Comment number 31.

    Very interesting read, Dan. Great job as usual.

    It’s scenarios like the one you describe that make me glad I support a lower league ‘less fashionable’ team. The amount of hangers-on amaze me!

    Footballers are unfortunately becoming more and more sheltered and removed from reality. We had a young lad on loan from a Premier League club, yet to break into their first team, he had the Range Rover, earrings, you know the rest and came across as a real ‘Big-Time Charlie’. I fear that this is the next generation of footballer.

    That being said, I’d agree with #24, that every so often you run into a player that bucks the trend and it really makes a difference!

    Zoumana Bakayogo

  • Comment number 32.

    #16 anightatthechopra - I have to agree with you mate, the missing pastry is sacrilege! It's like those 'healthy' pizzas that you can get at Pizza Express with the middle cut out and replaced by a salad....what's that all about??!!

    Dan, did Robbie blaze his missed penalties wide, or are you a bit of a demon between the sticks?? He's supposed to be a fairly decent player, kudos on the victory

    Ludek Miklosko

  • Comment number 33.

    Stop talking about food...!

    Did you get to touch/smell the World Cup? It was there, right? How big is its entourage?

    Joe Parkinson

  • Comment number 34.

    Dan Walker


    BBC's Best

  • Comment number 35.

    Read your blog for the first time ever.....and the last. The dumbing down of the Beeb continues.It looks like anyone who can type, not write, can get a blog on the BBC. The BBC wants to save money so is cutting content. I hope you are not paid for this drivel,if you are then you should be cut.

  • Comment number 36.

    35. At 10:58am on 18 Mar 2010, Spurs Ron wrote:
    Read your blog for the first time ever.....and the last. The dumbing down of the Beeb continues.It looks like anyone who can type, not write, can get a blog on the BBC. The BBC wants to save money so is cutting content. I hope you are not paid for this drivel,if you are then you should be cut.

    You would base your entire opinion of this man on one blog post!?
    That's an over-reaction worthy of any twitchy Premier League chairman. Well done sir.

    I actually enjoy Dan's blogs, and a lot of other people do as well, if the majority of posts are anything to go by.

    Did your mother never teach you what to do if you don't have anything nice to say?

  • Comment number 37.

    Pointless article. Why shouldn't top footballers like Rooney be treated in the same fashion as those in Hollywood? Both are the best in the world at what they do, get paid too much and are very well known. Your article should have been as to why treat any celebrity like the royalty. Plus is it not obvious why the aides of famous people ask that you not talk to the celebrity? Im sure it is annoying as hell having everyone want to ask question, all the time. Im sure that you Dan, and I, would be the same if we had the same problem.

  • Comment number 38.

    "Just a question dan, is Rooney taller or stockier in real life compared to on the tele? They alwas seem
    to be. I met some of the United team a few years back, and Solskjaer was a lot taller than he looks
    on the tele and on the pitch, always thought he was a shortarse until then!"

    I have met him and he looks taller and less stockier in real life. No airs about him and very shy and soft spoken.

  • Comment number 39.

    Morning good people of the blog.

    Carey (#15) Glad you enjoyed reading it all. I do love a bit of language but it doesn't always come out in the right order.

    Anightatthechopra (#16) And there was me thinking that Graham Kavanagh was a nice bloke. Wise words on the lattice… it was probably invented by a chef that had run out of pastry

    1867_waddle (#17) Now you're talking… Hendersons! I had it on a fried egg the other day - magic.

    Sssspurssss (#18) and Deep-heat (#19) I think you both make a valid point. I just wonder whether it’s the fault of the footballers or more of a societal issue because we hold these 'men' in such high regard.

    DDSmart (#21) My chair is not working properly at the moment. It should be 3 kerplunk towers high but the broken lever means it's only 1 and half kerplunk towers in height.

    Matthewgbowen (#22) There is the proof. I am slightly concerned that I look about 6 years old.

    Mikey (#24) Good shout on Big John. Top bloke when he came in and Lawro thought he was a legend.

    Ant Fossard (#25) Something we started a few weeks ago. Come join the fun and choose wisely.

    Tommy2010 (#26) that's ok - you are entitled to your opinion. That is the way it went down though. I have taken your jibe about name dropping on the chin. I will apologise to the Queen when she comes round later for tea.

    Matthewgbowen (#27) It all depends on the week I'm afraid brother. Sometimes we are front and centre on other occasions you have to avoid spiders and rolling stones while trying to hold on to your hat and whip.

    John (#28) It wasn't Rooney's entourage. Only his agent was there. The rest of the people were from the event itself. I am sure that Rooney were much rather prefer a smaller scale do. It's just what comes with his profile. Gotta take him to the world cup though - he's playing like a beast at the minute.

    JuggernautFC (#29) Gaits go out the window in situations such as this. I am sure you understand.

    Pulpgrape (#30) One of my nicknames as school was Cranefly. You can now see why. I hope I didn't give you snow blindness.

    Dannytrfc (#31) You be very right. A player with the right attitude will not get carried away with it all.

    Woodforthetrees (#32) I wasn't in goal for all of them. I managed to save 1 but I think the occasion got to him.

    BigOldHeid (#33) It was lovely to see the old girl again. Small, perfectly formed and followed around by two large men at all times. There is something beautiful about the world cup.

    Spurs Ron (#35) Good rage. Very happy that you think I can type. I am something of a 2-fingered technique man (very noisy and inefficient). You will be pleased to hear that I am not paid for this. If you do ever decide to return you will be more than welcome.

    Right. Thanks for all the comments - keep them coming. I shall come back after lunch.

    Don’t forget the Thursday quiz on Twitter. Today from 4 at @danwalkerbbc

  • Comment number 40.

    I was at the event, and it was really well run. When Rooney arrived the whole place just went crazy but it was great!

  • Comment number 41.

    Hi Dan, I just wanted to say I'm loving the behind the scenes articles you do - always interesting, and no other beggar ever does them. Keep up the sterling work, and try and get a sly dig in at Dixon on the next FF!

    Torben Piechnik

  • Comment number 42.

    Great to see Ken Monkou getting a shout. The Saints haven't had too many other dutch saxophonists!

    Good work as usual Dan. I enjoy your light hearted approach to blogging about football, as it seems do many others based on the amount of posts you usually get. I much prefer it to Sky's over the top, every next story is the biggest story in sport, style. Who says sport should be serious all the time, isn't it meant to be fun and entertaining?

    John Burrdige

  • Comment number 43.

    Dan I am turning into a big fan of yours. Your subject choice to write your blog about is invariably very interesting.

    Dan how tall is Rooney. I've heard he is about 5ft 10. Another observation I've made of Rooney is does his hair seem to be growing back a little. Does seem to be thickening up a bit or is that just me?

    Anyway Dan keep up the good work, who you tipping fot the World Cup then, and the Prem?

    Cheers mate!

  • Comment number 44.

    I don't think the issue si that we treat Sportsman like film stars, they are just as talented. It's the reverence we treat film stars with in the first place!

    Have you found many stars to be the prima donnas that their people set them up to be?

  • Comment number 45.

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

  • Comment number 46.

    'Oi Dan,

    Still waiting on that dinner money - you better cough up soon or I'll be spinning you round and round by the hood of your jacket.

    And when you gonna have my Maffs homework done?

    Mark Groves

  • Comment number 47.

    Yep sums it up really all content no substence and nothing about the guy who you interviewed.

  • Comment number 48.

    Collie21 you don't understand this is meant to be about 'behind the scenes' - I like these insights and think Dan's blog is good.

  • Comment number 49.

    Dan, just curious as to which football team you support. Also, which teams do you dislike and for what reasons? (Unfavourable half time meals do not count as a reason)

  • Comment number 50.

    I don't really know what the point of your article is?
    Feels like a facebook status update....basically spam

  • Comment number 51.

    I like the order in which you went for the pies - obviously the steak pie is nicer cold than the chicken and mushroom...

    Free food = good, free booze = better, free booze+me+redbull=no sleep for a week..

    Keep em coming

    Nolberto Solano

  • Comment number 52.

    I don't know why people are complaining about this blog it's top quality! Its refreshing to read, blogs don't all have to be Pulitzer winning pieces!

    Danny Cadamarteri

  • Comment number 53.

    Hi Dan,

    First time I've commented I think. Really enjoy the blog, fair enough it's obviously not everyone's cup of tea but I hope you get a bit of respect for the fact you don't get paid for it. I do an unpaid blog for a local newspaper so I can empathise with it being a labour of love. Definitely got a face for the internet though so I won't be troubling BBC1 any time soon.

    Just wondering - are things like a postgrad journalism degree and in particular shorthand still pre-requisites for working in the print media or can you sneak in the back door (so to speak...) by writing online and shifting across into the more traditional press jobs?


    Rodolfo Arruabarrena

  • Comment number 54.

    #46 Mark Groves

    Pick on someone your own size Grovesy, I've told you about this before. Do you really want a reoccurance of the head flushing incident?

  • Comment number 55.

    Since my first post was removed by the moderators I'll try again!

    I'm not the first to point out the lack of content in this post (and blog in general). Which is surprising given the general high standard of football blogs on here. Football is a rich subject and this is the best you can do. I nearly fell asleep reading the first paragraph. You clearly dont know how to structure a piece - the first para should sell it and make me want to read more. Well it didnt. But I persevered but unfortunately it didn't get much better. Well, like others above, I wont bother again.

  • Comment number 56.

    48. At 1:18pm on 18 Mar 2010, The insightful one wrote:
    Collie21 you don't understand this is meant to be about 'behind the scenes' - I like these insights and think Dan's blog is good.

    Actually I understand all too well, I am just incredibly dissappointed that what was once the pinnacle of important information with relevant information and dispersed in a mature way for insightful mature and educated readers has dumbed down even the football to cater for those who can't think for themselves........ it's just a bit depressing. I like wayne rooney as a footballer but I would ask him how the hell he is and would he like to go for a pint, If I saw Robbie williams I would say thanks for the music, lets get together and have a pint. ........I don't understand hero worship, one plays football the other sings.....It's not like they have saved anyones life.

  • Comment number 57.

    Is Collie21 actually the guy from Harry Enfield and Chums? "I mean, I like Rooney and I'd be 'appy to go for a pint with him down the pub. We'd chat about football and he'd accept that Julian Dicks was the greatest left back of all time. But, if he told me that 3-5-2 with wing backs was better than a 4-4-2 I'd say, oi Wayne, no!"

    Anyway, I enjoy the frivolity Dan, keep it up. I am with Mourinho (and not just because I am also special) in loving a bit of custard cream action. How does that grab you?

    Dmitry Sychev

  • Comment number 58.

    #56 Consider that if Dan told us about how the interview went there would be no point in us watching it when it actually goes out. Where's the dumbing down? Do you not like Twister boards as a unit of measurement? Sorry Dan, can we have the exact measurements of the floor space in feet and inches please mate, because we've got a mature and educated reader over here.

    I think if you go around asking celebrities to have a pint with you you're a bit wrong in the head, Dan's a professional journalist, not some scary stalker, you numpty. If you don't want to do an 'hero-worshipping' then what are you doing asking people you don't know out for a pint anyway? Any anecdotes about someone who's saved someone's life Dan? We've got a mature and educated reader here, at least let's give him a link to a blog about firemen or surgeons or something.

    Speaking as someone with journalistic ambitions, information on what goes on behind the scenes at these sort or events is 100% relevant, but tell you what #56, when the interview goes out with all its relevant content, Dan will put a transcript up and we'll give your mature and educated self a little reading comprehension test at the end to keep you happy.

    As the late, great Tony Wilson once said, "You're entitled to your opinion. But it's a [rubbish] opinion".

    Glenn Helder

  • Comment number 59.

    Back with a bang! Great post Dan...

  • Comment number 60.

    Interesting reading. This may be an obvious question, but did Rooney actually say anything? Or did you sit there in silence with him for 5 minutes?

  • Comment number 61.

    Ok everyone. Thanks for all the comments so far. I very much appreciate you taking the time to bung down a response even if it's an angry - rage against the machine - type thing.

    It's lovely that some people enjoy the blog and I knew right from the start of the season that it would not be everyone's cup of tea.

    Collie21 (#47), England Fan (#50), reebu67 (#55) and others… I have said many times in the past that this blog was always meant to be an irreverant look behind the scenes by the presenter of Football Focus.
    It's meant to work in tandem with the programme itself and give you a look at what you never normally get to see.

    Obvisously I try and write it as well as I can - but it's not meant to be some great treatise on the game, or an aritcle that will be sent off for a journalistic award. If you get peeved because it's light-hearted... great - that's exactly what it's meant to be.

    The good thing about the BBC website is that there are articles to cater for everyone. If my style - or lack of it - gets under your skin, hopefully you can find something that does meet your exacting standards. If not, you could always write something yourself as a comment. I promise not to criticise your lack of paragraph structure (reebu67). Let's just all calm down a little.

    Jamie Riley (#43) I'm going with Spain for the world cup and Manchester United for the premier league - although I quite fancy Arsenal all of a sudden.

    Steve Tudor (#44) Good point sir.

    JuggernautFC (#46) Not again!

    rob_of_the_rovers - the real one not the impostEr (#47) I am a fan of Crawley Town brother. Don't really dislike anyone but I was escorted out of Bramhall Lane once.

    Gradel97thMinute (#53)
    A post graduate course in journalism is not essential but I would say it certainly helps. There are loads of different ways into the business. The problem these days is that everyone wants to do it.

    The key is that once you get a chance - wherever it might be - take it with everything you have and work like a beast to make yourself invaluable in the shortest amount of time possible. Also - take cake in every week!

    Anightatthechopra (#58)
    Your sentence structure is really poor and I think your entire entry is not only irrelevant but also journalistically naïve. Please try harder! Ha ha. Thank you for the sprited defence.

    Right. I need to go and voice something for the programme this weekend. I'll come back for round 3 a little later.

    Phil Babb

  • Comment number 62.

    Richard Gray (#60) Because we only had 5 minutes with the man we were using the interview to illustrate a montage of his goals from this season.

    It was in last Saturday's programme.

    Stuart Nethercott

  • Comment number 63.

    amusing blog as usual, reading that and the ridiculous raging comments after helps waste a few minutes at least in the race for 5.30.

    footballers being treated like film stars? not so sure martin keown would say the same after the grief he got on a night in oxford a couple of weeks back. just an ugly pete sampras.

    more of the same next week,

    chris kiwomya

  • Comment number 64.

    I enjoyed that. Never understand people moaning about blogs and their time being wasted etc. hey's your time.

    I like random too.

    Chris Whyte.

  • Comment number 65.

    Seems to me that Rooney is a pretty down to earth and well balanced lad - still with the girlfriend he had since a young teenager and before fame and fortune. He even makes jokes at his own expense, recently crediting his spate of headed goals to the fact he has a bald patch - can you imagine Becks joking about something like that? He'd be off to the nearest clinic paying millions to get the latest hair treatment, either that or he'd take to wearing a bandana at all times.

    Pleased to see him doing so well and hope he shines at the WC, but not too much. I am a Jock after all and as you know, we still haven't got over 1966 yet, so I don't think we are ready for another England victory.

  • Comment number 66.

    Rooney is playing out of his skin this season but that Messi is special. By far the best player in the world, Rooney don’t come close to Messi. (and im an ardent United fan since 1986). Rooney is a top class player doing the business for United but Messi is that one class above. Everything just comes to him, he is so effective and his dribbling is mesmerising. Closest player to him is C Ronaldo!

    I would love to go and see the boys go on and win the World Cup but I don’t think the team is strong enough to go the distance. We require a rock solid goalkeeper commanding from the back. Green would be my first choice, I don’t mind the defence, wouldn’t have Johnson as my right back due to his over attacking, being out of position and simply cannot defend style (but who else could we have?) In this case Johnson it will be with Rio, Terry and Ashley Cole.

    I would like to see Lennon on the right with Lampard, Barry and Milner.

    Gerrard and Rooney up tops!

    We have 2 flankers with a defensive and attacking option from the middle with a strike force that has great potential.

  • Comment number 67.


    Thanks for your reply. I have some good news and some bad news.
    The good news is that you don't get paid for this drivel.
    The bad news is that this is on the BBC website.

  • Comment number 68.

    I wasn't a very violent child but I also don't have a very good memory. Dan - if you went to school in the Reading area, then I sincerely apologise for my actions. If not, then let me know who this other Mark Groves is so that I can clear my good name!

  • Comment number 69.


    RobNox (#65) You are right sir. He is very down to earth. Plenty of others would have had a some wierd hair treatment to get the flowing locks back. I think a bandana could work for Rooney though.

    Spurs Ron (#67) Glad to see the rage has subsided slightly. I also have some good news and some bad news for you. Let's start with the bad news... this worthless drivel will be available on the BBC website every week. Actually there is no good news.

    Mark Groves (#68) I have to confess to being very confused by the whole Mark Groves situation.

    I don't recall ever knowing a Mark Groves and I have been to Reading 3 times in my life. Twice to the football stadium and once on Tuesday night.

    Help me Obi Wan Kenobi you're my only hope.

    Roy Essandoh

  • Comment number 70.

    No need to ask who ate all the pies then!?

    If you want to have a great iced bun, and bigger than the average, you can't go wrong with a Belgian bun. Quality.

    Juninho Pernambucano

  • Comment number 71.

    Hi Dan, good blog. It's nice to be able to read something that doesn't take itself too seriously! I like that you take the time to address your detractors and respond appropriately, where some just ignore the criticism.

    I'm a Burnley fan and saw Focus from Turf Moor a few weeks back, was interesting to see the minimum standards the Premier League has on facilities. The local paper reported that the upgrades cost the best part of a million quid. A mil for a portakabin!

    I have a friend who is currently studying a Masters in journalism, he says shorthand is still a fair part of the course. Looks like hieroglyphics to me. Do you have any advice I could pass onto him?

    Keep up the good work!

    Roger Eli

  • Comment number 72.

    I look forward to your weekly blog Danny boy. A pleasant bit of light hearted chit chat and some intense food debate.

    It seems I'm a bit late this week by might as well chuck in my bit.

    Basically just wanna add my name to Big Up the Focus 1 club. It seems strange people don't like the blog yet feel the need to comment abotu license fees etc.

    As they used to say on Why Don't You...? swicth off your TV set go and do something a little less boring instead.

    Keep it real homies!

    Dalian Atkinson

  • Comment number 73.

    col029 (#71)
    "I have a friend who is currently studying a Masters in journalism, he says shorthand is still a fair part of the course. Looks like hieroglyphics to me. Do you have any advice I could pass onto him?"

    I think you still need shorthand to get through the course but after that it depends what job you go into. I have never used it once but it's always a good skill to have in reserve and essential if you go into court reporting.

    realronburgundy (#72) I am feeling the love Ron. Right-back-atcha!

    Eric Edman

  • Comment number 74.

    Now then, now then. Random blog!

    I too no idea have how sentence a structure. When are the next Nobel nominations? Walker gets my vote.

    PS. My cat's breath smells like cat food.

    PPS. Dan - have you ever had those hot dogs which grow in size when you cook them??

    Fred Morris

  • Comment number 75.

    Love on a Friday...

    Darius Danesh

  • Comment number 76.

    ready for some roast pork.

    Lee Clark

  • Comment number 77.

    A nice mix of fun and anecdotes, nice one Dan.

    Comments are getting better every week too, gotta laugh at the people who come on here too moan, it´s a light hearted blog for pete´s sake, get a grip, the internet is massive I´m sure there´s something for you on it somewhere.

    Don´t think we can really blame the footballers for all the hoopla surronding them lately, after all it is "us" that put them on that pedistal in the first place, bit sad really, but part and parcel of todays "celebraty mad" world.

    Interviews with the stars and free pies..... You´re living the dream mate. ;p

    Perry Groves (No realation to Mark, as far as I know)

  • Comment number 78.

    Evening Mr Walker,

    Now then there's alot of good questions that have been posted this week but everyone has missed the biggest question of them all....

    Did you think Kauto Star was going to win the Gold Cup?

    Can you BELIEVE what happened??

    As for goalscoring tips off Big Kev Davies, I'm glad you went to an old-school English centre-forward, you've mentioned that you're 6ft4 before, did you aerially dominate the davies?

    have a good show tomorrow monsieur, ross

    / Jan Fjortoft

  • Comment number 79.

    Evening everyone. Just putting the finishing touches to the programme for tomorrow.

    Surreybloke123 (#75) You've broken the mould there with Darius Danesh

    Paul Faithfull (#76) Enjoy that pork

    Holloway2Holland (#77) Living the dream... you're not wrong.

    rossfox (#78) I did think Kauto Star was going to be all over it pal. You've done me out of 2 inches there pal... 6ft 6 - and no I didn't dominate.

    Enjoy the show tomorrow.

    Efe Sodje

  • Comment number 80.

    Forgot to say... if you'd like to see this week's Friday Focus featuring James Corden and Alan Shearer have a butchers at this...

    Alvin Martin

  • Comment number 81.

    Great blog and I've got a lot of respect for someone who takes the time to answer everyones questions, most people wouldn't be arsed. Especially me!

  • Comment number 82.

    at #12 I agree with you I think its a very wrong decision to sack Phil Brown.The man simply has worked his fingers to the bones for the club.If only fans opinion could be sought before making decisions like that I'll love to think he'll still have his Job now.I'm not a Hull fan but I love to see hard workers succeed.

  • Comment number 83.

    at #35 if you wanna base your judgement of Dan's blog on just this blog then I would say you need a reality check.A lot of people enjoy his blog myself inclusive if you can do any better then you should have been appointed BBC Chairman long time ago.

  • Comment number 84.

    I wasn't keen on the bit at the beginning of Saturday's Focus. If you had put a suit on an filmed at Canary Wharf because you were doing a programme on football finance then it would have seemed appropriate. To do so because we are reaching the "business end of the season" didn't really work.

  • Comment number 85.

    cheeseisthedevilswork (#84)
    Point taken comrade. I will feed your reservations back in the Tuesday meeting.

    Peter Petrelli

  • Comment number 86.

    Great blog Dan, footballers are no more special than you or me and shouldn't be treated like royality.

    No disrespect to Ian Dowie but I don't think he is the man that can save Hull. I would love to see them stay up, but this has been a bad decision. Beckham should go to World cup as a mentor etc..

    Can't believe how professional the openings to FF are. Is it a team effort between you and the producers or do you not get much of a say in any of it?

    Your ultimate challenge is to write a blog without mentioning anything consumable at all !!


    Think a few people need to look up the what a "blog" means.

  • Comment number 87.

    Just taken a gander to find this weeks blog and it isn't here yet! Always an enjoyable read on a Wednesday/Thursday lunchtime.

    Dr Suresh

  • Comment number 88.

    Presume your doing another world cup mania blog post and football focues this week? I totally miss focus when its not on on Saturday lunchtimes!

    Go Rooney, Go England!


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