Bank Holiday Monday – and I’m at Wembley for the League Two play-off final; Stockport County v Rochdale. Spend most of first-half vaguely following the game but mostly listening to the climax of the cricket on the radio. A cracking second-half though, and despite a late Rochdale rally, Stockport hold on to secure their promotion.
Team up with an old pal Ollie in the mixed zone and we knock off a few interviews together with boss Jim Gannon and some players. Pop into the office to drop off tape before heading home and editing – late into the night – a package about the Glenn Hoddle Academy – which I filmed last Friday.
Up at London Colney – Arsenal’s training ground – where England are camped ahead of tomorrow’s friendly against the USA. Capello does his first presser in English, and I’m very impressed. He understands everything, including an extremely long-winded statistic-filled question from one journo, and even makes a few little jokes. Already liking Signor Fabio. Send presser back using our state-of-the-art satellite truck, which my colleague Matt’s driven up.
Then it’s off to the USA team hotel, where I edit an England piece, which will run all day tomorrow, and grab a quick bite before the press conference with USA coach Bob Bradley.
I’m in Bath for some England rugby stuff ahead of their game against the Baa-Baas this Sunday. Soaked through while filming training, I then head to their luxurious hotel to send back some useful shots.
In the afternoon, I interview Rob Andrew, new call-ups Topsy Ojo and Nick Kennedy, Sunday’s skipper Nick Easter, Charlie Hodgson and David Strettle, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet in rugby. Send back a few ‘newsy’clips to run this evening and tomorrow, before editing a package which will run on Sunday.
At Wasps training ground in West London to preview Saturday’s Guinness Premiership Final. Seems the world’s entire rugby media have descended on the place, as it’ll be Lawrence Dallaglio’s last professional game.
Knock off some really nice interviews – with the big man himself, Ian McGeechan,Tom Rees and James Haskell. As a green-blooded Irish rugby fan growing up, Lawrence Dallaglio was the pantomime villain we all loved to hate; always popping up to ruin Ireland’s day. But now I count myself privileged not only to have seen him play, but to have interviewed him on a number of occasions.
Hang around for some training, then back home to put together a Dallaglio tribute package which will run all day tomorrow.
At Twickenham for what will be the highest-attended club rugby game ever. A real sense of occasion about the old place, which is – despite having been in the Nou Camp, Maracana, Stade de France and so on – still probably my favourite stadium in the world. Also, because it’s the GUINNESS Premiership, there’s plenty of the black stuff going free in the press room. Not that I touch a drop of course, ever the professional…
Funny old game – Wasps really fired up and dominating the first-half before Leicester, after presumably having had a rocket fired up them at half-time, come back and threaten to nick it. But Wasps hold on, a fitting end for Lol. He leaves the pitch with 12 minutes left to a standing ovation, which is an emotional moment for everyone. One of the best parts of my job is being there for memorable occasions in sport, and I will never forget watching Dallaglio leave the rugby field for the last time.
Back at rugby HQ. A little earlier today, because I have interviews arranged with a few coaches and players from the England Saxons, who head off to Canada for the Churchill Cup tomorrow.
Then it’s game time – England v the Barbarians, usually pretty entertaining fare.
But after yesterday’s fireworks and emotion, today’s a bit of a damp squib. A flat atmosphere and a pretty disjointed, drab and dreary game. One to forget. After the post-match presser and a couple of interviews, a very busy week draws to a close.