“England Wednesday. Sheffield Saturday” – Chris Woods Advert (1990s).
When I worked in the “high flying” PR industry in London from 2006-2007, I was into Podcasts a lot. I downloaded lots of them and always listened to them on the tube on my way to work and back. It was a sweet release from the madness of the world outside. My blog didn’t begin until 2007, Clever phones were not my thing (even if others had them back then) and my student radio shows were always live, so listening to recorded Podcasts were a Godsend in the manic streets of London Town. In those days, it was the BBC Five Live Podcast and I listened to a few others at the time, most of which I don’t even remember the names of.
As well as listening to football Podcasts and writing during lockdown, I have also delved into online gaming and entertainment such as interactive football quizzes, mobile-optimised casinos and bet placements on the German Bundesliga, which started at the weekend.
But before this period of lockdown, I forgot about Podcasts. As life moved on for me, I left England in 2009, and haven’t lived there since. The British media was out of my life and I loved it – I stopped consuming it. Caught up in a world of opportunity. Even though, it was usually British football that I watched, especially AFC Bournemouth. However, life had been too busy to even research Podcasts as my backpack swallowed a century of countries with football as an excuse to head to obscure places like Milton Melgar’s home town, a Penarol top of the table clash, the under 20s World Cup or to beg a pub in Hong Kong to show a Preston North End v. Bournemouth match back in the day.
Welcome to 2020. The travel lifestyle blog, Don’t Stop Living, still exists of course. But I don’t travel anywhere, except to the bathroom and kitchen, or to leave the rubbish out and go to the local shop. It was overflowing gently, but it’s all elementary my friend…so I got back into Podcasts while sitting in my bedroom in Coronavirus era world. There’s nothing beyond these four walls for now. My writing den is also my listening den and my reading den. Live football currently doesn’t exist, so I turned to watching old football videos on YouTube, posting football quizzes online, starting a book about football, researching my Dad’s football career and…listening to football Podcasts. Bear in mind, that I am new to these Podcasts below – the first time I listened to any of them was March 2020 during the lockdown. I finally had passive time for stuff like this. These are my current favourite football Podcasts to listen to. Of course, I can add more, change the list etc. at any time, but for now, I recommend these ones!
1.Stick It Up Your Ballacks (70s – 00s, Sublime Football Geekage)
My new personal favourite in football Podcasts is “Stick It Up Your Ballacks”, as it is long, informative, knowledgeable and has all sorts of complete geek facts that I love. I have listened to every minute of every episode so far. Hosted by football geeks and stattos Mark Flanaghan, David Norton, Nick Lambert and Andy O’Brien. They have a section called “Room Archibald” where each episode the guys decide what the best football facts and stats are, and whether they are worthy of being included in this “room”. They debate this before putting them in a virtual room. Also on the features at SIUYB are an “FF”, where a famous footballer is interviewed on the Podcast to see if the guys can guess who it is by asking yes or no questions. They always get it eventually. Plus they have a quiz to see who is the winner and I love football quizzes. Tune in, listen and subscribe for more tales of Nottingham Forest fan Lee Westwood, Stefan Schwarz’s “moon contract” and debates mostly about English football in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s. This is also the era I love the most, especially the pre-Premier Legaue era.
Jonny’s Suggested Episode – All of them are good, so start at the start – Episode 1 of SIUYB
Recommended For – Football fans who love the obscure, peculiar and the decline of the 3.00 p.m. Saturdays and the vidiprinter. A good rant and decent football knowledge is required. If you haven’t heard of Stuart Nethercott, Jimmy Rimmer or Peter Barnes, forget it.
2.Quickly Kevin, Will He Score? (90s Football Geekage)
This ultimate 90s football Podcast oozes class – In a fast way, Kevin, will yer man onion bag it? Boasting guest interviews with Bully, Paul Merson, Richard Shaw and Matt Le Tissier amongst countless others, this is hosted by Josh Widdicombe and Chris Scull. The title comes from a 1998 question posed by Brian Moore to England and Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan just as David Batty prepares to hit an important pelanty (penalty) kick. Like SIUYB, QKWHS also has football quizzes and geek facts.
Jonny’s Suggested Episode – All of them are good, but start with the Steve Bull one if you have to.
Recommended For – NINETIES football fans who bow to Ali Dia’s fairytale, glorify Steve Bull and laugh at their own jokes.
3.The Broken Metatarsal (00s Football Banter)
The Broken Matatarsal is brought to us from Planet Football and guests reminisce about the beautiful game in the noughties. The 00s was an era where although I went to a lot of football matches, I travelled a lot and worked a lot so I forgot many things. When I listen to this football Podcast, I learn new things and interesting football facts from the first decade where I was globetrotting
Jonny’s Suggested Episode – Leeds in the Champions League and Dominic Matteo.
Recommended For – Football fans who grew up in the 70s, 80s and 90s and were too busy to remember what happened in the 00s.
4.The Totally Football Show (Everything football!)
The Totally Football Show is the most commercial and wide ranging on the list as it has its own website and multiple different Podcast styles. It also appears to have 6 different and new Podcasts every week so I am still getting into it. I really enjoy the female only one – hosted by Lynsey Hooper, Kait Borsay and Hayley McQueen, and called The Offside Rule. The girls are a lot of fun and they discuss not only the female game but also the men’s game and the current struggles during Coronavirus.
Jonny’s Suggested Episode – their latest female football Podcast, The Offside Rule.
Recommended To – ALL football fans, any age, any era!
5.Spirit of 2016 Northern Ireland Podcast (GAWA, Norn Iron)
I limited this list to only five Podcasts, with 4 of them being general football. The final one that I love, is team specific and of course for my beloved Northern Ireland. What I like about this Podcast is the fact that it keeps me young! As a 40 year old Northern Ireland fan, who is into my fifth decade of supporting my country, it is nice to have a fresh Podcast dedicated to our most recent tournament appearance (France at Euro 2016) rather than my personal favourites from Espana 82 and Mexico 86. If I am a Northern Ireland football geek from the 1980s, this Podcast keeps me up till speed with what’s happening in the here and now. Hosted by Andy Bell and Luke Niblock and much better than any official Podcast the IFA ever came up with.
Jonny’s Suggested Episode – All of them are good, so start near the start – Episode 2 is a cracker.
Recommended For – Northern Ireland fans and everyone with a love for the textbook underdog.
6.The North West Football Show Podcast (NW England)
Run by Mark Flanagan and Dave Norton of the legendsary lockdown special “Stick It Up Yer Ballacks”. This spin-off project isn’t quite as nerdy and diverse as the pre-carnation but there’s no end of football debates. They mostly focus on Manchester and Merseyside clubs. Whiteside shoots! Twitter of the NW Footy Cast.
7.The Armchair Fanatic (Global Geekage / Nostalgia / Irish)
The title of this is rather ironic given that the Podcast’s ever-colourful host, Johnny Foley is most certainly not a stay at home, armchair football fan. Indeed Johnny has been around the world watching football including a trip to Uruguay, home of the FIFA World Cup and he has played in a match at Parkhead / Celtic Park. Johnny’s Podcast has some fabulous interviews with Packie Bonner, Paul Byrne and Thomas Wrongen. I was interviewed as “The Football Globetrotter” on it here.
Let’s hope the lockdown ends soon so we can all get back to normality in some way. When we do, I will probably still be listening to my favourite football Podcasts. Keep us all entertained everyone!
Further reading of my football stories on Don’t Stop Living:
- Who won the 1942 World Cup?
- Who won the 1946 World Cup?
- My visit to Estadio Azteca, Mexico
- When Wimbledon played Real Madrid!
- 22 Northern Irishmen Who Were At Liverpool FC
- My trip to Milford, home of the pelanty kick
- My tour of the Oval Grounds, Belfast, Northern Ireland
- 11 Legendary Football Journeymen
- 501 Not Out
- My Top 100 Football Memories