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This Football Life

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Welcome to This Football Life, the show that gives you intimate, in-depth interviews with football's most interesting players, coaches, backroom staff and executives. Walk a mile in their shoes and see the game through their eyes.

Welcome to This Football Life, the show that gives you intimate, in-depth interviews with football's most interesting players, coaches, backroom staff and executives. Walk a mile in their shoes and see the game through their eyes.
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Welcome to This Football Life, the show that gives you intimate, in-depth interviews with football's most interesting players, coaches, backroom staff and executives. Walk a mile in their shoes and see the game through their eyes.




David Goldblatt: Football's Warrior Poet

Timeline: 3:15 His book writing process 14:57 His love of Arabic commentary 22:35 Who are the winners and losers of the globalization of football 30:05 Oligarchs in football 41:39 Falling in love with football 50:53 Going from writer to audio documentarian 59:55 His thoughts on podcasts and Game of Our Lives 1:10:45 Who/what he reads Today, I am joined by sociologist turned author turned podcaster, David Goldblatt. David is the best-selling author of the classic book, The Ball is Round which...


Heath Pearce: Turning $1,400 into 35 US International Caps

Timeline: 3:47 Jetsetting with Thierry Henry 9:56 The Origin of his storytelling 19:02 Would he approach social media differently if he was a player in 2018? 27:55 The golf agent who tried to sell him to Rangers 34:30 Advice to players transitioning to left-back 43:16 Trading shirts with the Spanish national team Today our guest is Heath Pearce. Heath is currently a Creative at Copa 90 and was previously a professional footballer. For those of you who don't know, COPA90 is the world’s...


Osian Roberts: The Welsh Coaching Whisperer

Timeline: 5:39 Meeting his Liverpool idols 10:09 Picking the brains of Liverpool Legend Steve Heighway 18:02 Coaching coaches and His famous Pro License Course 27:07 The most common question he gets and his answer 34:23 Remembering the 2016 Euros 41:19 How he watches coaches Today we are joined by Osian Roberts. Roberts has been coaching in Wales since 1991, becoming the Technical Director in 2007 and the Assistant Manager in 2013. He's even been called the 'most influential man in Wales...


Jess Ibrom: Football in the South Pacific & Building Academies From Scratch

Timeline: 6:05 Lessons from coaching in the US 14:48 Academy building from across the world 23:38 Becoming a Cook Islander 31:27 How to entice Mexicans to play in New Zealand 43:41 Managing expectations in young players 54:10 Coaching opportunities for British Expats in England Today our guest is coach Jess Ibrom. Ibrom has experience working all around the world at the youth level. He started his career in the US before moving back to England. After that, he was the Head of International...


Michael Calvin: The Art of Sportswriting

Timeline: 4:13 Covering a surf contest in Da Nang Vietnam 14:03 On the craft of writing 21:51 Taking a sabbatical to set up English Institute of Sport 29:01 The story of Jeff Astle & head injuries in football 39:41 The future of football, a pan-global league? Today we are joined by writer extraordinairre and award winning author, Michael Calvin. Calvin is the author of 6 books and his newest book, 'State of Play' just came out last week. It's a compilation of stories and topics from all...


Alex Culvin: Lifting the Veil on Women's Football

Timeline: 4:40 Impact of Mo Marley on her 10:40 Day in the life of a female footballer 10 years ago 19:07 The Eni Aluko situation 26:42 Pregnancy 34:32 Contract issues 40:45 The future of women's football 46:03 Why she quit the game Today my guest is ex-women's football player Alexandra Culvin. In her career as a full-back, Culvin played for 5 teams, Leeds, Everton, AZ Alkmaar, Bristol Academy and Liverpool. She is now finishing her PhD dissertation on the realities facing professional women...


George Sephton: 48 Years as the 'Voice of Anfield' + Origin of 'You'll Never Walk Alone'

Timeline: 8:25 European adventures 15:05 Heysel memories 21:36 The origin of You'll Never Walk Alone 32:50 The chaotic Wales World Cup Qualifier in 1998 36:35 Stadium experience in 1970s vs 2010s 44:40 The best game at Anfield that no one remembers 52:22 Stadium experiences around the country Today we are joined by Anfield's stadium announcer, George Sephton. Sephton has been the Voice of Anfield since August 14th, 1971. In his time, he's witnessed scores of classic games and crazy incidents...


Raphael Honigstein- Football Broadcasting in 2018 & Beyond

Today we are joined by German writer extraordinaire Raphael Honigstein. Honigstein is a regular contributor to ESPNFC and you can hear him every week on BBC 5 Live's Euro Leagues Football Show. He's also a regular guest on The Totally Football Show and writes for Unibet. He's written 4 books, most famously Das Reboot and Klopp: Bring the Noise. His most recent book is Per Mertesacker's autobiography which comes out on May 11th. Well you have to speak German for that one. I wanted to speak to...


Stephen Constantine: The Marco Polo of Coaching

Today our guest is Indian National Team Manager Stephen Constantine. Stephen is a bit of a football nomad having coached in every corner of the world. He's coached 5 different national teams: Nepal, Malawi, Sudan, Rwanda and India twice. He's coached plenty of clubs as well: in the US, numerous teams in Cyprus, Greece, Bournemouth and Millwall. He also holds a UEFA Pro License. In the this episode, we get into some of his adventures from globetrotting around the world, including a story...


Stuart MacFarlane: 17+ Years Capturing the Scenes at Arsenal

Today our guest is Chief Photographer at Arsenal, Stuart MacFarlane. MacFarlane has been working for the club since 2001 and but had worked with the club as far back as 1991 doing assignments for Colorsport. So today take a ride through Arsenal's Premier League years with Stuart and I. Specifically, we'll hear him discuss working with Arsene Wenger, the final days at Highbury, the victory parade after the season of the Invincibles, and who on the current team likes taking photos. You can...


Geremi: From Cameroon to European Champion

Today we are joined by Cameroon legend, Geremi. Geremi has played on some of the best teams in the world and has won the top prizes in the game. He won 2 champions league trophies with Real Madrid in 2000 & 2002, which he talks about in this episode. He then went to England to play with Chelsea in 2003. There he won the Premier League with Chelsea in 2005 & 2006. In this episode, he talks about the frustrations he had there and his relationship with Jose Mourinho. He then went on to play at...


Dave Edwards: Athlete Activism in 2018 & Reliving Wales 2016 Cinderella Run

Today's guest is Reading midfielder Dave Edwards. Edwards has made more than 450 appearances in 18 seasons as a professional. He started his career at Shrewsbury Town, the team he supported as a child, before a brief stop at Luton Town. He then went to Wolverhampton, where he spent 10 seasons from 2008-2017, and won the Championship in 2009. He's affectionately known as Dangerous Dave to those fans and in his career, he has scored 60 goals. He has also represented Wales 43 times across the...


Ted Buxton: The Blitz, the Battlefield, and the 1996 Euros

Today's guest is Ted Buxton. Buxton has led a fascinating life. Growing up in London during World War 2 he lived through the Blitz, which he talks about in great detail. He then was a soldier in Malay before becoming a butcher in Southeast London, near where I live in New Cross. He then went from butcher to coach at Millwall. He then served as a scout at the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the US and at Tottenham before his biggest gig, scouting and coaching under Terry Venables for the English...


Chris Anderson: Pioneering Football's Data Revolution

Today's guest is football analytics guru Chris Anderson. Anderson is the co-founder of Anderson Sally, a football intelligence consulting firm, which helps clubs connect the dots between sport, strategy, and performance. When he's not consulting football clubs, he is a political scientist and visiting fellow at the London School of Economics. In 2013, along with David Sally, he wrote the Numbers Game which is one of the most influential books on football analytics. The Times even hailed it...


Martin Edwards: The Architect Behind Manchester United

Today's guest is ex-Manchester United owner and honorary president Martin Edwards. He ran Manchester United from 1980-2002 and in this time he took the club to new heights. When he took over the club was worth an estimated £2 million and when he left it was worth nearly £1 billion. During his time in charge, United won more than 17 major cups, including 7 Premier League trophies (compared to 5 in the 22 years before him). Edwards was part of the 'big 5' owners who led the formation of the...


Mick Harford: The Head Waiter

Our guest is Mick Harford. Harford is the Chief Recruitment Officer of Luton Town. Previously he was a player for more than 20 years making nearly 600 appearances and scoring almost 200 goals. He scored Chelsea's first goal in the Premier League. Following his playing days, he coached at Luton Town, QPR and others. In this episode, he discusses the role of the centre-forward in his day versus today, various aspects of scouting and whether he sustained permanent head injuries because of his...


Lawrie McMenemy: Buckingham Palace Guard to Winning the FA Cup

Today our guest is Lawrie McMenemy. Many of you, myself included, were not around when McMenemy was one of the elite managers in English football. In his 25+ years he coached at Grimsby Town, Doncaster, Southampton, Sunderland and was an assistant with the English National team. Some of his highlights include: guiding three different teams to promotion, winning the 1976 FA Cup with Southampton, and finishing second in the league in 1983-84. He's also managed legendary players like Peter...


Kieron Dyer: No More Secrets

Today's guest is ex-Ipswich, Newcastle, West-Ham, QPR, Middlesborough and England midfielder Kieron Dyer. Dyer has been making headlines for the last few weeks because of his new autobiography, Old Too Soon, Smart Too Late: My Story which you can get in bookstores across the UK and online. I sat down with him to discuss some of the important topics he brings up in that book including - his lengthy injury history and how he battled the fan abuse because of it, - World Cup memories and why...


Gerry Francis: London's Captain

Today's guest is Gerry Francis. Francis played nearly 20 years as a forward with numerous clubs, most notably QPR. In 1975 at the age of 23 he was named England captain. After playing he was a manager for 18 years, including at QPR & Tottenham. He led both to the position of top finishing London club which hasn't happened at either club since. He then became an assistant under Tony Pulis at West Brom, Crystal Palace and Stoke City. Recently he wrote a book called, The Team That Dared to Do...


Steve Avory: The Father of Charlton's Academy

Today's guest is Charlton Athletic Academy Manager, Steve Avory. Avory is one of the top developers of talent in the country. His club, Charlton, are the 7th best academy in producing professional footballers, ahead of the likes of Liverpool and Man City, according to Training Ground Guru. Some notable names to be developed since Avory started in 2001 include: Harry Arter, Jonjo Shelvey, Carl Jenkinson, Darren Randolph, Ademola Lookman, Joe Gomez. In the episode we investigate: how has...