WHO ARE YA? Tom Fletcher, Bantams Banter

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Tom Fletcher (left) of Bantams Banter fame

1) Who are ya?

Tom Fletcher, 28, Bradford (born and raised).

2) Who do you support?

Bradford City

3) What was your first game?

Can’t actually remember I was so young, all I do remember is hot coffee being spilt over my head whilst being stood on.

4) What do you do for a job?

For a living, I sell bunion cream but for the purpose of this interview I more importantly produce an award winning independent podcast called ‘Bantams Banter’.

It centres around Bradford City and offers a ‘from the terraces’ view of the game as we record the show. I’ve been doing it for 5 years now with a good mate of mine called Dom. We’ve gone from recording in my back bedroom to being the first ever podcast recorded live at Wembley.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I had trials with Bradford City as a goalkeeper but got pipped to the post by a Jon Worsnop who went on to play for the club in some respect! He now plays Sunday league like me, but as a centre forward (scores loads apparently).

6) How did you get into it?

What, podcasting football matches? Well me and Dom both had Radio experience and suddenly lost our jobs with BBC Radio Leeds. We wanted to carry on in broadcasting but whilst we were waiting decided to produce our own podcast called ‘The Tom and Dom Show’. From this spurned Bantams Banter and the rest they say…

7) What do you get out of it?

I love working as part of a popular podcast. It combines my two passions, football and media. It’s good to use your creative side as Albert Einstein once said:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

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

Just do it. Get a microphone and a recording device and free your creative juices. Talk about something you love or hate… or something that makes you excited, happy, sad or angry. Record it (edit it) and release it into the world. Today’s technology means anyone can do this from anywhere, together with modern online social values it also means someone will listen somewhere.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I’d of done it younger.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Jorg Albertz – the best left foot I’ve seen on a human.

Cheers Tom, all the best. Fancy asking Dom if he wants to do this too?

Listen to the Podcast

Follow Bantams Banter on Twitter

Like them on Facebook

WHO ARE YA? David Hill, Head of Marketing for Kitbag Limited

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David Hill, Head of Marketing for Kitbag Limited

1) Who are ya?

David Hill, 49

2) Who do you support?

Bamber Bridge FC. and RCD Mallorca

3) What was your first game?

Bamber Bridge FC v Curzon Ashton

RCD Mallorca v Lleida

4) What do you do for a job?

Head of Marketing for Kitbag Limited.

We run the commercial websites for Man.Utd, Man City, Everton, Barcelona, Celtic, Real Madrid, Borrusia Dortmund, Olympic Marseille, Formula 1, the NBA (National Basket Association), and many others.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I worked with Wigan Athletic FC producing commercial product ranges for their club stores, and the occasional match day activity. My playing days were strictly amateur but played most weeks up into my late 30’s.

6) How did you get into it?

I was a buying director for JJB Sports plc, owned by Dave Whelan, chairman of the Latics, so it aligned to the role I had at that time.

7) What do you get out of it?

A good insight into football fan purchase motivations and some good Saturday afternoon football.

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

I have been employed in the sports industry for over 30 years, and it still continues to evolve. There are opportunities throughout the industry, where you can capitalise on transferable skill sets to move from one discipline to another.

My advice – get in first, then get on. It’s a great industry.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Nothing! I’ve been to more sporting occasions than I can remember, Champions League games, 2 World Cups, Euro Champs, 2 Olympics and played at venues such as Old Trafford, Goodison Park, Anfield and best of all, Wembley (Twice).

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Toughie! I’ve met Pele on two occasions, and played a match with Gordon Banks at Wembley, both great players, heroes, ambassadors and I was struck by their humility, however, as a former goalie, I have to go with Peter Schmeichel – I don’t think there has been a keeper since where, in a one on one, anyone dominates as much as he did.

Many thanks, David.

WHO ARE YA? Craig Renshaw, Administrator for the University of Bolton, & BWFC Turnstile Operator

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Craig Renshaw, Administrator for the University of Bolton, & BWFC Turnstile Operator

1) Who are ya?

Craig Renshaw, 23.

2) Who do you support?

Bolton Wanderers (still!) [Good lad – GM]

3) What was your first game?

Oxford United in 1996, FA cup tie, I think? [Bolton played Oxford in the league that season, at Oxford in November 1996, and at Burnden Park in April 1997 – GM]

4) What do you do for a job?

An Administrator for the University of Bolton, and I operate a turnstile for Bolton Wanderers on matchdays.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

Yes, as above – as a Turnstile Operator for BWFC.

6) How did you get into it?

I needed some work experience whilst I was at University, and a family friend gave me the contact details of someone at Bolton. That was my way in.

7) What do you get out of it?

I get to help the team I’ve supported all my life, and get to see a bit of the football most of the time. I also get to build rapport with the fans, which is always fun.

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

Just ask around, there’s always jobs connected to clubs you support, get involved, whether its paid or voluntary and you won’t regret it.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Actually play for BWFC! Saying that, they could really do with me right about now! [Too right – GM]

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Jay Jay Okocha – so good they named him twice!

Cheers Craig. I hope to see you at the Reebok turnstiles one of these days.

WHO ARE YA? Jim Mann, Founder of a technology company, Spontly

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Jim Mann, Founder of a technology company, Spontly

1) Who are ya?

Jim Mann, aged 37.

2) Who do you support?

Liverpool / Hearts (I was born in Edinburgh but grew up in the Northwest).

3) What was your first game?

Everton vs Telford United in the FA Cup Everton won 3-1 I remember Peter Reid and Neville Southall were playing.

4) What do you do for a job?

I am the Founder of a technology company called Spontly.

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We are a fan engagement platform for live events. In real terms that means we build apps, webpages and tools so Football / Rugby / Cricket clubs can allow their fans to interact through their mobile phones and see replays etc. at matches.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I was a junior Claret and played for Burnley until I was about 11 when I took up running instead – I now race ultramarathons and mountain races instead.

6) How did you get into it?

I have been working in start-ups and tech for a while. As smart phones started to get more popular we saw an opportunity and started developing this idea.

7) What do you get out of it?

Working with new technology especially with crowds is great fun. I found it really satisfying that something that we dreamed up a couple of years ago now has 1000’s of people using it.

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

Just have a go – there are so many opportunities out there – if you have an idea just try it… what’s the worst that can happen?

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I would take out some of the mistakes where we tried things that didn’t work so we could get to where we are now faster!

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Ian Rush – he scored so many goals when he was at Liverpool.

Many thanks, Jim.

Find out more about Spontly

WHO ARE YA? Stephen Hughes, Operations Manager for Street League

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Stephen Hughes, Operations Manager for Street League, with the Mayor of Warrington

1) Who are ya?

Stephen Hughes, 37, Glaswegian, Operations Manager for Street League

2) Who do you support?

The famous Glasgow Celtic – first British team to lift the European cup

3) What was your first game?

Davie Provan’s testimonial against Nottingham Forrest in 1987. Forrest won 3-1.

4) What do you do for a job?

I am the Operations Manager for a football Charity called Street League. We deliver sport/employability Academy programmes that support 16-25 yr old NEETs (not in employment, education or training) and get them back into work, College or national training programmes.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

Not any professional clubs. I have played football up to Amateur level in Scotland. Street League is currently looking at working alongside professional football clubs. For me, in Manchester, the two on the horizon are Bolton Wanderers FC and Oldham Athletic FC.

6) How did you get into it?

I applied for the role with Street League.

7) What do you get out of it?

It’s so rewarding getting people back into work, College or national training programmes so that they can achieve their potential.

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

Be prepared to go above and beyond what is expected of you. Apply yourself in everything you do and no matter what you go on to become, be the best at it.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I would put more commitment into my football when I was around 14/15. Looking back then, I probably had the ability to go on and become a professional footballer but I was easily distracted with other things such as girls and generally having a good time.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

I’ve never had a football hero as such. Even growing up my favourite player would change each season. In recent times my football hero would be Henrik Larsson. Not only one of THE best football players ever to grace a Celtic jersey, he was also a remarkably humble human being and was admired by most fans from other clubs as well.

Get involved with Street League

WHO ARE YA? Kevin Moore, Director, National Football Museum

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Kevin Moore, Director, National Football Museum

1) Who are ya?

Kevin Moore. 53

2) Who do you support?

Tranmere Rovers

3) What was your first game?

Wolves v Leeds, 1968 (0-0)

4) What do you do for a job?

Director, National Football Museum. I lead the world’s biggest and best football museum! We opened a new National Football Museum in Manchester in July 2012, and attracted over 450,000 visitors in the first year. This built on the success we had in Preston, where the Museum originally opened in 2001. The Museum is in the heart of Manchester and admission is free!

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

No.

6) How did you get into it?

My background is as a University Lecturer (History, Museum Studies), and as a Museum Curator. In 1997 I was appointed as the first Director of the National Football Museum in Preston. The Museum opened in 2001 and we attracted over 100,000 visitors each year.  The collections are still held in store in Preston, while the displays are now in Manchester. We hold the world’s greatest collections, over 140,000 items, including the FIFA Collection.

7) What do you get out of it?

It’s a dream job! We preserve the unique history of football in England, and create displays which have had a fantastic reaction from our visitors. We also have a great learning offer for schools and colleges.

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

We strongly encourage and support fans who are preserving the history of their club and who are attempting to set up their own museums. And our own team is growing!

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Nothing!

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Sir Bobby Charlton was my hero in the 1960s, so it’s a great thrill for me that he is the President of the Museum.

WHO ARE YA? Jon Sutton, Creative Programmes Officer at The National Football Museum in Manchester

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Jon Sutton, Creative Programmes Officer at the National Football Museum

1) Who are ya?

Jon Sutton, 32, born in sunny Blackpool, living in Urmston, Manchester

2) Who do you support?

Blackpool

3) What was your first game?

11th November 1989, Blackpool 4 Brentford 0…sat in a wooden seat in a wooden stand at a crumbling unchanged Bloomfield Road in front of less than 3,000 fans with the smell of pipe smoke wafting in the air. It was the high point of that season as we ended up getting relegated to the Fourth Division!

4) What do you do for a job?

I’m Creative Programmes Officer at the National Football Museum in Manchester. I was involved in the initial project when we moved from our old site in Preston working on some of the themed zones in the permanent displays. Since we opened I’m part of the team responsible for the museum’s temporary exhibitions programme which has included West African art, photography, football and fashion and our current exhibition celebrating 125 years of The Football League. I’m also involved in small displays we have of contemporary art and some of the events we do in our public programme.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I worked at the Manchester United Museum as curatorial assistant for three years where I worked with their collection and displays. I also used to sell programmes at Blackpool when I was a teenager, 10p per programme commission and free entry to the match!

6) How did you get into it?

I did a degree on Politics and History at the University of Central Lancashire which included a heritage studies module which really interested me. From this moment on I realised I wanted to work in a Museum. I then volunteered at the Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool and Astley Hall Museum in Chorley before undertaking a Masters degree in Arts and Museum Management at the University of Salford. As part of my Masters degree I did a placement at the Football Museum when it was in Preston working with their FIFA World Cup collection and the rest is history!

7) What do you get out of it?

It’s a fantastic place to work, who wouldn’t want to be involved in the biggest and best football museum in the World?! We have over 140,000 objects in our collection and playing my part in the Museum helping preserve the history of the People’s game via our displays and changing exhibitions so they can reach out to as many people as possible is something I’m proud of.

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

Picking the right course at university is key and making sure you get experience in the relevant field can always get your foot on the ladder.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I suppose I might have tried to get more work experience in Museums prior to starting my Masters degree, as it gives you more of an insight into work than any course can.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

My first hero was Blackpool left winger David Eyres who played for the club from 1989-1992 and went on to play for Burnley, Preston and Oldham. Billy Ayre was a great Blackpool manager from the early 90s who got us promoted on a shoestring budget and sadly passed away at the age of just 49 in 2002. My biggest hero though is probably manager Ian Holloway who took us up to the Premier League in 2010 and very nearly kept us there against the odds. Seeing Blackpool beat Liverpool and Spurs and play stylish attacking football was something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime and when he left the club to join Crystal Palace I was devastated. It still hurts and the current situation at Blackpool under Paul Ince makes the Holloway era seem a distant memory.

Many thanks, Jon.

Visit the National Football Museum

WHO ARE YA? Emily Draper, Voluntary Performance Analyst at Nottingham Forest Ladies FC

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Emily Draper, Nottingham Ladies FC

1) Who are ya?
Emily Draper, 22, living near Nottingham

2) Who do you support?
Arsenal

3) What was your first game?
Wimbledon vs Cardiff, 2003 as a ball girl. One of Wimbledon’s first matches at The Hockey Stadium

4) What do you do for a job?
Voluntary Performance Analyst at Nottingham Forest Ladies FC

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?
Played for MK Dons Girls Centre of Excellence and Nottingham Trent University. Worked as an intern at MK Dons FC and Stoke City FC.

6) How did you get into it?
Playing in the street with my cousin as a kid.

7) What do you get out of it?
Playing – an adrenaline buzz
Working – a sense of helping someone else to realise their dream.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?
Just believe and keep believing! No matter what stands in your way use it as experience and to your advantage.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?
Kept playing after university and been more confident.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?
As a kid David Seaman and Dennis Bergkamp were favourites.

WHO ARE YA? Callum Baxter, Business Development Manager at the National Football Museum

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Callum Baxter, Business Development Manager at the National Football Museum

1) Who are ya?

Callum Baxter, 27, born in Ormskirk (Lancashire), lives in Manchester, has a scouse accent.

2) Who do you support?

Everton

3) What was your first game?

I remember my first game being Aston Villa away, I think it was the 96/97 season and it was one of Dave Watson few games as caretaker manager. I can’t remember much of the game but I do remember a young, teenage Richard Dunne coming as a substitute to make his debut.

4) What do you do for a job?

I’m the Business Development Manager at the National Football Museum. With the museum being a charity and relying on donations, it’s my job to make the museum money in other areas. This can take on the form of sponsorship and working with brands, companies who would like to hire the museum as a venue for an event or loaning items from our collection. The 1966 World Cup Final ball or Jules Rimet trophy are two of the most prized items in our collection of over 145,000 pieces.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I worked for Burnley Football Club in their media department on work experience during my university years.

6) How did you get into it?

I’d probably say my degree was the defining factor in getting my job. I studied Football and Society and Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire.

7) What do you get out of it?

I love being able to play my part in helping to preserve the heritage of the beautiful game. We exist to explain why England is the home of football, the birthplace of the world’s most popular sport and I’d like to think that I’m helping the museums long-term mission and responsibility to protect football’s heritage and culture for future generations as well as current audiences.

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

The only advice I could give here is pick the right degree, I had an idea of what I wanted to do when I was at university and I dreamt of working for the National Football Museum, and luckily, my dream has come true. So, have a think of what you want to do because, the degree you pick at university matters! I would definitely advise to get some good work experience as well, the time I served at Burnley Football Club, albeit only for a month, it was unbelievable experience.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I would go back and I would have tried to get more experience working in different departments at different clubs. I managed to interview Jon Harley prior to an FA Cup tie with Arsenal while at Burnley, which ended being on the front page of the programme and the centre piece – Fire emails off and make contact with anyone asking for work experience!

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Growing up I was absolutely obsessed with Duncan Ferguson. He may have let us down on a few occasions (the occasional red card) but he was a hero to me and he loved a goal against Manchester United…

Many thanks, Callum.

The National Football Museum website – www.nationalfootballmuseum.com

WHO ARE YA? Roy Mason, Steeton AFC Manager

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Roy Mason, Manager of Steeton AFC

1) Who are ya?

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Steeton AFC crest

Roy Mason, manager of Steeton AFC, I am, despite the youthful looks, 44.

My role as manager involves much more than the running of the club. I get involved in the commercial side, website updates and helping write the clubs programme – non of which the Premiership managers would dream of, but it’s part of the job at this level. As manager I need to generate my own funds to push us on more professionally and also help publicise the club at any opportunity. Those who know me would say I never miss an opportunity to get the club into the local media!

2) Who do you support?

I support Bradford City, a club that has had its ups and downs. I was there on that fateful day on May 11th, 1985 [GM – the terrible Bradford City fire tragedy, where 56 men, women and children lost their lives] and the bond the supporters have with the club is second to none. Last season was a just reward for all those who have stuck with the club throughout the years. They are the most local club to me and I firmly believe you should support your local club.

I also take a keen interest in all West Yorkshire’s non-league sides.

3) What was your first game?

It was a home game against Walsall in the early 80’s. Bobby Campbell was the main man in those days. It was a 0-0 draw but enough for me to go back and the next game saw them beat Wigan 7-2 and I was hooked!

4) What do you do for a job?

I am a footwear buyer for a mail order company; my job takes me all over the world and has allowed me to see the odd game abroad. I’ve visited Barcelona, FC Porto, Fenerbache & Fiorentina to name a few clubs. So, I’ve sometimes been able to combine my work with hobbies. I’ve done a bit of TV guest presenting with work and this has caused much amusement from my players over the years!

It can be hard juggling both jobs and sometimes you leave yourself with no spare time!

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

Not professionally, however I played for Steeton before I became manager, and Keighley Phoenix as well as a couple of Keighley’s succesful Sunday sides, Druids Arms and St Annes Celtic.

6) How did you get into it?

I’ve always been interested in off the field activities as well as those on the field. I became assistant reserve manager, before taking on the position of player/manager with the reserves. After a season doing that I then took over the first team and have guided them to become one of the top WRCA Premier Division sides and in my tenure with the help of a great backroom team we have transformed the club.

7) What do you get out of it?

I love being involved with grass roots football and working with people who feel the same and devote a lot of hours for nothing. I live in the village [of Steeton] and I’m proud to be putting something back into the community as well as pushing myself to be the best I can as a manager.

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

Go for it – local clubs are crying out for help at all levels. Get involved you will make so many friends and get a great deal of satisfaction from it and you have no idea where it could take you.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Not a lot really – a broken leg at 24 cost me 18 months out of the game and if I could wind the clock back I would have ridden the tackle instead!!!

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Playingwise, it’s Stuart McCall – a man who gave 110% in everything he did. He was a fine example to any player in always giving your all for the club. I was very disappointed when it didn’t work out for him at Bradford City when he returned as a manger. Maybe he was too close to the club…

Managerwise, I admire Bill Shankly and Brian Clough a lot for their grasp of the basic principles. Their method was keep the game simple and be honest and upfront with players.

In the modern day, Jose Mourinhio seems to have a great man management style and the players want to play for him.

Many thanks, Roy.

You can follow Steeton AFC at www.steetonafc.co.uk