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Late Kick Off, lost cashews and train rage

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Dan Walker | 23:05 UK time, Wednesday, 25 January 2012

I am currently on a train travelling back from London-Upon-Thames. I wouldn't class this as one of my top 10 train journeys. The mad dash from the Tube didn't help, or the man with the largest amount of luggage in history blocking the escalator.

The fact that every ticket collection machine was broken only added to my misery, as did the bloke in the ticket office who seemed completely unfazed by the concept of time, refusing to speed up at any point and even stopping occasionally to sip his tea!

Despite all that, I managed to make the train with seconds to spare, only to drop my bag of cashew nuts down the gap between train and platform. Once the nut-based rage subsided, I realised that, to cap off a top travelling experience, I had also left my umbrella on the Underground.

Over the years, I think my "lost umbrella" to "train journey" ratio stands at about 1:8. I am considering constructing some sort of elaborate cranial harness that an umbrella can be clipped into to help address such alarming statistics.

Cashew nuts

Lost cashew nuts can't compare with losing in the Carling Cup semi-finals. Photo: BBC

I was in London to film the latest series of Late Kick Off. I am doing the London & South East version this season. It's a great show to work on and it also allows me to prove to Crystal Palace fans that I don't hate them.

The Palace massive were out in force last Saturday after Football Focus put out a piece on Cardiff reaching the Carling Cup semi-final... but not on their club. There were a few polite and reasoned complaints but I also got accused of being some rather rude words.

I can assure you that there is no bias in the Football Focus office. We'd love to fit more into the programme but our 45 minutes disappears quite quickly each week. We do try to wedge in at least one Football League piece each Saturday but we can't keep everyone happy. Someone suggested we do 30 seconds on every single club each week but I can't see that being a winning formula.

We do sometimes concentrate on one club, as we did at Wolves last Saturday. It was great to get Neil Warnock and Mick McCarthy together. I don't know about you, but I thought Mr Warnock showed impressive dignity and restraint in his response to Joey Barton's comments on Twitter the day before.

Not sure about this new tendency for interviewees to walk off while I'm introducing the next piece, though. First it was McCarthy, then Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey and finally Lee Dixon. Thankfully, no-one has tried that in the studio, although Paul Ince was tempted a few weeks back when Martin Keown kept interrupting him.

Dixon is on again this week. He is still unconvinced that Mario Balotelli intended to stamp on Scott Parker, so we'll be showing him the footage again and prodding him gently.

There is round four of the FA Cup to look forward to as well. After visiting Wrexham in round three, Robbie Savage has gone to see old boss Nigel Clough as Derby prepare to face Stoke City. Jonathan Woodgate will be giving us his views on the Potters.

We've also got Lawro's take on Liverpool and Darron Gibson on joining Everton, plus loads of other stuff. I might try to get a mention in for Crawley as well seeing I am hot-footing it to Hull after Saturday's show to watch, hopefully, the shock of the fourth round.

Get your comments down if you have any questions or queries. Don't forget, you can also find me on Twitter as

PS. If you see my uneaten bag of cashew nuts on platform two at St Pancras International, could you please ask a train official to hook the booty and send it to BBC Sport's new home in Salford.


  • Comment number 1.

    HI Dan, Great Blog - I think its about time you guys hea down to the County Ground and check out the Italian Revolution going on at Swindon.

    Was disappointed to hear that in the Pundits picks over the FA cup 3rd Round no-one even mentioned us as a potential suprise.

    Dont be suprised us getting a result at Leicester this weekend!


  • Comment number 2.

    Hi, an interesting read, even though it was not about much really other than mentioning the programme. I happen to agree with Lee Dixon, i cant say that it was intentional, so will look forward to you grilling him.

    something random here, but what do you think about Moyes saying the players cant get any time off for holidays with the Olympics?

    i would be interested to see an article about that, perhaps you could ask managers about their views?

    also perhaps a potential team for the olympics squad too would be fun! The midfield of Bale, Giggs, Ramsey, Beckham, seems rather good methinks.

  • Comment number 3.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 4.

    Ah the perils of relocation. BBC London in Salford. Nuts you might suggest. A short term problem? What is the situation regards Football League highlights as of next season?

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Dan - enjoyable blog as always. Clearly you can't please everyone but to me a footy show with Dixon and Savage is always going to be a winner!
    PS: I saw Floella Benjamin picking up your nuts (!!!) and adding them to a new hat alongside the apples and coconuts!

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Dan,
    Funny blog also had to laugh at #5- the name number pairing and the Floella Benjamin line. It sounds as if one of my in laws was manning the "no concept of time" ticket box at the station you mentioned.
    I'd love to hear thoughts about the Carling Cup semis and the final. Agree with twitters than a cupset is more likely if CCFC play L'pool than if they had to play Man City.
    Also have you or Keown or Dicko got any info an Arsenal buying players? They need them so much.
    Hope Crawley do knock Hull out of FA Cup. Had to work in Hull once for a few weeks, did not like it at all. Conversely every visit to Crawley has been grand; except when I was 6 and was bitten by a neighbouring dog.

  • Comment number 7.

    Who are you? Steve McLaren, I find the more you carry the more you lose, anyway you can tell Mr Dixon only Man City fans think it wasn't a stamp Mr Ballotelli can leave the country if that is what he can offer to the English game!

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi Dan

    You've got more chance of getting your cashews back than seeing a Crawley victory at the KC..! Mr Barmby has a very hungry squad who are all desparate for first team action. I predict a goal frenzy!

  • Comment number 9.

    Dan, words of advice from a manc working in London:

    Buy train tickets in advance, not only is it cheaper but it also saves the frustration of dealing with Northerner-hating ticket staff.

    Buy an Oyster card, it'll stop Londoners thinking you're a tourist. As for luggage blocking escalator users - kick their luggage out of the way or claim over it, meeting any stares with open hostility and loud tutting about bloody tourists clogging YOUR city up. When in Rome etc.

    You work in Salford and only own one umbrella? Cheapskate!!!

    Good luck with the cashews.

  • Comment number 10.

    Another point Dan is regarding Crystal Palace fans.

    I live in Beckenham, about 15 minutes downhill from Crystal Palace. Walk around Penge (where Crystal Palace is located) any day of the week and you'll see plenty of Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd tops, but I've lived here for 6 years and I've never once met a Palace fan. I've also lived in Cardiff, which is full of Cardiff fans so you made the right call on this one.

  • Comment number 11.

    #7 Daveyboy1664Who's your comment aimed at?

  • Comment number 12.

    Great blog Dan. Your sense of humour is spot on! Looking forward to the show on Saturday. Can't believe you commute from Sheffield to Salford on a daily basis, why not just move there? Also did you have to go all the way in for your 25 minute appearance on radio 5live last night?! Which I love listening to by the way.

  • Comment number 13.

    So Liverpool have made it to a London final. Roll out the red carpet. Ryan Giggs can lend you plenty if your stuck Stevie G. Come on Palace!

    Your getting to be a busy boy Dan which is good for you. At least the wife and kids have nothing to complain about. If they miss you at work, they can turn on the wireless or TV. Ifthey don't they'll keep it off, so no excuses for the wife.

    My sorry but folk like Mario should be banned of the rest of the season. Someone else will get away with it this weekend, just watch.

    For some reason Dan I don't think this blog will get too many hits, not a critisism, just a feeling.

    Hats off to Mr Warnock. I'll repeatedly put myself in his shoes for those 45 minutesand don't know how he did it. A Job up his sleeve or not, he was and is a role model of controlling your tongue and conducting yourself.

    As they say in Russia, Must go.


  • Comment number 14.

    Can't believe you commute from Sheffield to Salford on a daily basis, why not just move there?

    Salford? The 'D' in the Dump?!

    People don't really 'choose' to live in Salford. Not even people from places like Middlesborough would re-locate to Salford and if you've ever been there that really is saying something.

  • Comment number 15.

    Oh dear, what's that I hear? Violins? Try commuting to London Dan from home everyday for 25 years on 21k a year, paying a mortgage and rying to find enough money to watch your beloved team becaause football is so importatnt to you! Okay I'm a southerner and I can' t think of living anywhere else but you have the job and you take the choice, and the perks.

    No 7 daveyboy1664 - couldn't agree more. I'm not sure if Balotelli will be remembered much for football reasons if anything. And as a Spurs fan I resent this "appeared" to stamp. Its rather like Suarez "appearing" to give Fulham fans the finger a few weeks ago when there is a picture of him doing it. Nothing like trying to clear your backsides in particular the Daily Mail when the whole world sees things, except of course the blue side of Manchester. I don't mind if my team plays bad and desrves to lose BUT we all know that Spurs deserevd a draw. Karma a bit last night but I'd rather have had a point last week. Still, perhaps it shows you can't buy every trophy Roberto.
    And as for Paul Ince walking - does he ever say much of any use? I'm not kean on any ex-goon but Keown does try to speak sensibly which is more than can be said of the "partially sighted" Dixon! Accidental tread on - yeah right.

  • Comment number 16.

    My working life, I must have been insane, living in Menton [Southern France] about ten minutes from Monaco and commuting to London to work for 4 days a week. Now retired and back in the UK, i'm living in the North West, a woman is the reason for that. Thinking about it my commuting days were probably quicker than London to Manchester.

    The one good thing about the NW is the footy and the variety of teams i get to see play at all levels.

    On the subject of Lee Dixon, I agree with several on here, i like his style but I feel he was way to generous, in thinking Balotelli's actions were accidental but of course he is entitled to his opinion and at least he was bold enough to state it.

  • Comment number 17.

    I decree today that life is simply taking and not giving
    England is mine and it owes me a living

  • Comment number 18.

    Sheffield to Salford is an easy commute, but I have to wonder why Danny Boy hasn't muscled into a home in the Man U infested Cheshire Mansion Belt. I'm glad to see that he has stopped pointing out that you can see Old Trafford from his dock-side location, but note that he still persists in gazing lovingly in that direction for no apparent reason.

    BTW - are you going to do a 30-sec piece on the biggest or perhaps the most meaningful (top of the table) Sheffield Derby match in a few weeks - or is League One verboten?

    AND... if you travel 1st Class from St. Pancras to Sheffield, you get a free bag of Nuts anyway, so less chance of losing them. Ha Ha.

  • Comment number 19.

    Cast your eyes away from the Prem (and Crawley) and note that Brollies that you can wear have been around for years. Admittedly they are just a ridiculous novelty and are nowhere near big enough, so you may look stupid with one. But it leaves your hands free to hold on to your nuts - which should have been safe & secure in your deepest pocket anyway. If it was your Train Ticket that had been lost... we'd all be responding with howls of derision about the price of them.

  • Comment number 20.

    Oi Rob! If you're going to slag Middlesbrough off at least spell it correctly!

    Seeing as we're getting a potentially spicy affair with Manchester United visiting Anfield, Nathan Blake speaking out about rascism (following Roberts) and Justin Fashnu's niece speaking about homophobia any chance of asking if attitudes really are changing or if it's acceptable to get abuse on a Saturday as fans pay their money and it's 'rivalry'? If nothing has changed does more need to be done to spread acceptance?

  • Comment number 21.

    Morning all.

  • Comment number 22.

    Clearly Dan... a mad dash from the Tube and not having already purchased and acquired a ticket in advance shows poor planning on your part. No sympathy from me !

  • Comment number 23.

    No bias in the FF Office? Well perhaps not... but to make absolutely sure, why not re-brand it as Premier Focus? :-)

  • Comment number 24.

    Dan @21
    Morning all

    10 am and you've only just got up [tut tut] what's the world come to. When I was your age i'd already done a days work by that time and was still ready for another 6 or 7 hours.

    Now I know, I was in the wrong game.

  • Comment number 25.

    My apologies. Culturally I'm more used to the 'burgh' than the 'borough' or the 'brough' :) The town is an industrial complex with some houses thrown in for good measure as you may know.

    Liked your point about 'acceptance' and thought you could also have thrown in the domestic abuse 'spikes' that are invariably associated with this event as they are with big sporting events all over the world (without implying a causal connection, i.e. the game per se does not 'cause' the volience). But I remember in the aftermath of that Old Firm 'hate game' last season, (which was then used by the Scottish Government to introduce a raft of anti-hate legislation) listening to an academic saying that L'pool/ ManU was actually associated with greater levels of violence/ arrests (during and after the game) and yet there was much less concern about that match than the 'sectarian' base of the Old Firm.

  • Comment number 26.

    Seeing as we're getting a potentially spicy affair with Manchester United visiting Anfield, Nathan Blake speaking out about rascism (following Roberts) and Justin Fashnu's niece speaking about homophobia any chance of asking if attitudes really are changing or if it's acceptable to get abuse on a Saturday as fans pay their money and it's 'rivalry'?

    Just as societies attitudes change, football will change but football does take a good deal longer to get the message.

    One of the problems regarding 'the more to be done' issues involving racism and homophobia, is what you do. The constant stream of laws alone will never change attitudes, in fact they can reinforce the existing thoughts on the issues. Just having a player 'come out' won't change it either. Nor will a constant stream of racal abuse charges, have a lasting effect. Players will become more careful and people will still hold the same thoughts.

    It is not palatable for some because it takes time but education along with understanding are far more effective methods. It's rather like a country experiencing democracy for the first time after a dictatorship, it does not work immediately, it takes years.

    If on saturday we witness abuse at the LFC/UTD match, I hope the fans stop for one minute to think about what they are doing and why they are doing it.

  • Comment number 27.

    It rains more on the Salford side of the Pennines than the Sheffield, but any man seen there with an umbrella is seen as soft.

  • Comment number 28.


    An umbrella, what's that then!

  • Comment number 29.

    28.At 11:13 27th Jan 2012, Londoner in exile returns wrote

    them things Southerner's use to keep their nancy boy hair do's from getting wet

  • Comment number 30.

    Re: 26 As a kid I never understood why LUFC was so hated in my Sheffield community. Then SUFC sold all it's best players to LUFC (e.g. Jones, Currie, Sabella, Deane) and I began to dislike them too. Then along came Yorkshire TV - which was based in L**ds, and even Auntie Beeb's local set-up was located in - yes, you guessed it... L**ds. There is no racist or homophobic aspect to it all, so where does inter-city hatred come from, and does it warrant arrests, prosecution and being banned from your Stadium? Bring back the inflatable Bananas !!

  • Comment number 31.

    I got an e-mail from a friend in America... asking me where Salford was. They'd searched (internet) and only found references to Manchester.

    One rather astute former work-colleague (foreigner) suggested that the Beeb (being neutral as they say) should have re-located to a place with no possible Football Club connection at all. Can anyone suggest a location ?

  • Comment number 32.

    31: Give it a week or 2 and Darlington may be available.

  • Comment number 33.

    I think I speak for tigers everywhere when I say can't you go somewhere else to look for your "upset of the fourth round"!!

  • Comment number 34.

    Does Dan Walker ever respond to these "Comments" to HIS stuff here on the Beeb... or is he so wrapped up in being a TWIT ter ?

  • Comment number 35.

    6: Thanks for that. We takes us back to our prem days when we were one of the most hated teams around, at least from gooners anyway.

  • Comment number 36.

    31.At 11:44 27th Jan 2012, Mike Logan wrote:


  • Comment number 37.

    The constant stream of laws alone will never change attitudes, in fact they can reinforce the existing thoughts on the issues.

    I agree but I also think that attitudinal change is secondary and you are not necessarily looking to change what people think in the short-term. Views can become marginalised over time and the real meat with legislation is to address structural inequalities and reinforce it through education and social mobility. Legislation on race and equal opportunties is only partly an attitudinal device but it recognises that there are problems to be addressed in fundamental areas such as access to the labour market, social housing and educational oppoortunities. That said even today, females still earn an equivalent of around 20% less than their male colleagues in comparable jobs!

    Like you I don't really understand the 'base' of LPool/ ManU rivalry. There is no homophobic, racist or sectarian aspect to it - or maybe there are I don't know. Perhaps it is just inter-city 'rivalry'?

  • Comment number 38.

    Darlington eh? Yes... fairly new Stadium, good rail connection - but too close to being able to buddy up with the North Eastern teams... such as Migglesbruff and Sunnerund... as well as the team that play - and always will play - at St. James Park. Has anyone put in a bid for "naming rights" for Wemberlee?

  • Comment number 39.

    LPool v ManU (note not ManC) is, for me, just a regional thing, and therefore, given the extra distance, there is NO basis for LUFC v ManU hatred - from what I know. Will someone come along and tell us why this exists?

    It may all depend on the price of a (replacement) packet of Cashews on a train here in England, where the cost of travel is perhaps far more than a flight for an L.A. Galaxy supporter to go and watch her team play at the New Jersey Red Bulls

  • Comment number 40.

    Arsene's days must be numbered- even the football supremo, Pul Kagame - the President of Rwanda- states that Wenger should move on!!! Apparently he was a bit miffed by the Arshavrin substitution.
    Sould FIFA investigate the influence of Rwandan government on global football.

  • Comment number 41.

    I like thses blogs

    Dan Walker comes across as your mate. Someone you know and is down to earth. Letting us know he dropped his cashew nuts is something that happens to the ordinary man when using public transport.

    Obviously likes his food, and supports a genuine football team in Crawley Town.

    We need more like him here at the BBC, keep up the good work

  • Comment number 42.

    Re: 41 If a highly-paid BBC correspondent has no idea how to protect and secure his beloved foodstuff, he's not even worthy of an instructional spot on Blue Peter. Ha Ha.

    Stick Bob Wilson or Dan Walker in a basement flat in Bridlington and we'd never know the difference as to whence came FF next week.

  • Comment number 43.

    Re: 40 - Yep... the Rwandan Govt are teamed with SOMEONE in a higher Authority perhaps. Or are, maybe, flooding the internet with bogus "send us your money" e-mails... probably supported by Septic Bladder and his hidden underworld... (where's Hollywood when they have a prize to capture)

    I wondered if the Rwandan outside Ladbrokes was going to go in and bet on whether Dan lost his Nuts.

  • Comment number 44.

    Re. 41 Average BBC Journalist,
    My memory is not all it should be, too much propothol recently and all that. But do I remember correctly that you were striking a different tune last blog, or was it the one before?

    Dan, do your problems with your nuts go back through the years or is this a more recent concern?

  • Comment number 45.

    Re: 21: "Morning all"... and nothing else since. I wonder if that that was the BBC's Dan Walker or if it was my old mate Danny Walker from Bolton (funnily enough)

    Re: 36 (signori) Stoke ? Not so sure... there is a Footy team there I'm told, with a Manager who might have a chance at the England job... but I doubt it.

    Re: 41 No Comment

  • Comment number 46.

    Come on everyone.... where should the impartial Beeb be based? St. Austell, Bridlington, Whitby, Whitehaven, St. Bees or possibly Robin Hood's Bay?

  • Comment number 47.

    @46.At 13:21 27th Jan 2012, Mike Logan wrote:

    "Come on everyone.... where should the impartial Beeb be based? St. Austell, Bridlington, Whitby, Whitehaven, St. Bees or possibly Robin Hood's Bay?"

    Why does it have to be in England, as all your suggestions are?

  • Comment number 48.

    northern nancy boy needing an umbrella!!

    As for Dixon on Mario's 'stamp' some glasses son!

  • Comment number 49.

    45.At 13:12 27th Jan 2012, Mike Logan wrote:

    former work-colleague (foreigner) suggested that the Beeb (being neutral as they say) should have re-located to a place with no possible Football Club connection at all

    again i re-iterate my point of Stoke.

    They have not been playing football at the Britannia for years

  • Comment number 50.

    @41. Mike Logan

    Yes I do believe if Dan needs to take better care of his foodstuff


    Yes I have given credit when credit is due. This escapade made me chuckle. One can only wonder what sort of pickle young Mr. Daniel Walker is to find himself in next.

  • Comment number 51.

    This blog is brilliant. I like Dan Walker. I remember liking him when he did this video diary thingy during the world cup in South Africa. It was something to do with bus. I think he was driving around South Africa.

  • Comment number 52.


    Hello, long time no speak clippo. How the devil are you? Did you ever get that loft installation issue sorted out?

    I remember the bus... great idea... maybe thats something the BBC can look into but this time sending Dan Walker around the world (not just South Africa) and investigating football.

    It would be a bit like Ross Kemp on Gangs, but instead Dan Walker on er... football

  • Comment number 53.

    It will be great from a Spurs fans perspective that Harry is no longer in the running for the England job.

  • Comment number 54.


    Why hello!

    By installation do you mean insulation? As you know it was causing me some concern...but i'm please to report i've taken steps to control the heat loss from my loft. I guess it's the same principle as with humans…you lose a lot of heat through your head? Anyway, had about 10cm depth of mineral wool, but I’ve upped that to approx. 30cm in places. Should save me around £50 per year and, as the materials used only cost £180,it won’t take long to re-coup my outgoings (I’ll let you do the math). Just in case it’s useful, it was the irregular joists that were causing me concern…not the right distance apart for the rolls of wool. However, picked up some loose-fill to get round the issue.

    Oh, and i like your idea for the new tv show.

  • Comment number 55.


    Yes I did. Shame on me.

    Quick question. Was it not possible to go for the 30cm depth all over instead of in places?

    You may have made some sort of cost versus savings calculation to arrive at the optimal level of coverage, however quite interested.

    Been looking at sorting my own loft out recently, however finding the time is so difficult what with work etc. Hoping to get everything done by the arrival of spring but its going to be tight if the grouting is to be done as well.

    BTW you watching Liverpool vs United this weekend

  • Comment number 56.

    BTW you watching Liverpool vs United this weekend

    heaven forbid you break away form your thrilling loft insulation chat............

    never read such rubbish.........the blog was even slightly more entertaining!

  • Comment number 57.

    Well since you're interested, i was pretty much forced to stick with 10cm in the centre of the loft because i took the opportunity to put down some loft boards - and there's not much space between the ceiling and the top edge of the joists. I need the extra storage space and i guess the loft boards on top of the wool will still help with the insulation.

    Yeah get it done by spring because you'll find a number of other distractions when the weather improves, garden etc. Note of caution though...if you're planning on putting loft boards down, you'll probably need to trim some of them, and you may wish to do that outside when the warmer weather arrives.

    Can't wait for the big match. It'll have a real edge to it.

  • Comment number 58.

    Re: 53: A bit of a job to run the England team from a Cell in Brixton don't ya fink?

    Re:49: Not keen on Stoke's methods I take it. Heave Ho... survival is Number 1 after all... have you ever watched US Basketball?

    Re:51: Yep... send DW on a bus to keep him away from the action. I'm surprised he held on to his Bus Ticket. He was probably more interested in saving his annoying plastic trumpet. ;-)

  • Comment number 59.

    #31 For a silly question ....

    The Scilly Isles

  • Comment number 60.

    Either there or Portsmouth.

  • Comment number 61.

    Re:59 - Excellent suggestion !!! Are they also a Tax Haven? Can we really have a Criminal as our National Team Leader? I fink not moy San.

  • Comment number 62.

    As a fellow nut lover, I also enjoyed Mr Warnock's appearance. Sad to lose the cashews, but at least they weren't Macadamias. Currently enjoying some wasabi and seaweed cashews and planning my assault on the nations' bookmakers. War of the roses at Bloomfield to be game of the day

  • Comment number 63.

    Not sure where the Cayman Islands are, but apparently it is a tax haven. I am seriously thinking of taking Rex, my canine friend and my nanny, over there to invest some money. Anyway good luck, got to go for a nappy change.

  • Comment number 64.

    Mike Logan, #39;

    In the case of LFC and MUFC, from what i can make out, they hate each other because the local rivalry aspect is intensified by the fact that neither set of fans can understand why the other lot would choose to support a team that is NOT far and away the greatest and most feared in the entire history of football.

  • Comment number 65.

    Let's face it. You can't really make jokes about thieves breaking in to the trophy rooms of either of those clubs, and police being on the look-out for red carpets.

  • Comment number 66.

    "Dixon is on again this week. He is still unconvinced that Mario Balotelli intended to stamp on Scott Parker, so we'll be showing him the footage again and prodding him gently."

    He might need to take off his Arsenal-tinted spectacles.


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