WHO ARE YA? Craig M, Beyond the Last Man

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BTLM

1) Who are ya?

Craig, early 40s

2) Who do you support?

Grew up a Rangers supporter but moved away from Scotland a couple of decades ago so follow them fairly remotely from afar – in recent seasons with the sort of expression a pathologist might adopt with a particularly messy corpse.

3) What was your first game?

I faintly remember being taken to Hampden for the 1976 Scottish Cup Final and everyone celebrating almost as soon as we found our seats. Rangers scored in the opening minute and went on to beat Hearts 3-1 that day.

4) How did you get into it?

A couple of decades ago, I did a lot of freelance writing for football magazines before drifting out of it. Wanting to get a book project off the ground, I thought that blogging would be a good way to get the necessary practice and discipline such a project demands. That and a frustration about how Premier League and Champions League-centric modern football is: there are so many great stories to be told from before the 1990s that I thought it was worth sharing and hoping people might find interesting.

5) What do you get out of it?

It’s a mixed bag really. I try and mix things up with lengthy historical articles alternating with retro images and nostalgia related items and I suppose it can be frustrating when you get more reaction to easily assembled picture posts than articles that take weeks to research and write (GM – Tell me about it!).

But you do drift into contact with other knowledgeable and talented football-minded people, especially artists, that it’s a pleasure to interact with.

6) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Two things really. Create something that genuinely interests you and that you really believe in rather than something you think might be popular. You’ll need that enthusiasm for your subject when you have those regular periods of doubt about keeping it going it – and you will.

Secondly; try and find a niche that not too many others seem to be doing. If you want to start a blog dedicated to Premier League transfer gossip, just ask yourself if you have anything new or different to say from the dozens of people out there already doing something similar. Try to be the quirky independent shop on the High street and not the homogenised chain store.

7) Who’s your footballing hero?

Javier Zanetti represents the best of all footballing and human values and the game will be a much poorer place when – or if – he ever decides to retire.

Some questions omitted as not applicable.

You can read Craig’s blog, Beyond the Last Man, here – beyondthelastman.com – or follow him on Twitter – @BeyondTLM.

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