FWA Q&A

FWA Q&A: BOB CASS

The Mail on Sunday’s BOB CASS on missing bums at Darlington…oh dear Cantona… and an Eye-talian lady thinking he was Charles Bronson

Have you ever worked in a profession other than football?
Apart from two years serving Queen and country doing National Service in the Royal Army Service Corps, where incidentally I played in the same football team as Ron Yeats, Chris Crowe and Alec Young (the Golden Vision) – No.

Most memorable match?
Easy – the 1973 FA Cup final – Sunderland 1 Leeds United 0.

The one moment in football you would put on a DVD?
Jimmy Montgomery’s double save in the above match. The greatest in the history of football.

Best stadium?
The now lately lamented stadium that used to house my team, Darlington, where 90 per cent of the 25,000 seats never had a bum on them during a football match.

Worst?
The same because incurring the debt that it cost finished the club as a Football League outfit.

Your personal new-tech disaster?
Apart from the usual, accidentally obliterating copy right on edition time on several occasions, I fear that is still to come.

Biggest mistake?
Telling the sports editor there was no truth in the speculation that Eric Cantona was about to quit football.

Have you ever been mistaken for anybody else?
When I sported a droopy moustache, a beautiful Italian lady told me I looked like Charles Bronson. Turned out she had cataracts!

Most media friendly manager?
Kevin Keegan – he talked in headlines.

Best ever player?
Toss-up between George Best and Lionel Messi.

Best ever teams?
Club – Real Madrid 7 Eintracht Frankfurt 3, European Cup final 1960; international – Ferenc Puskas’s Hungary side which beat England 6-3 at Wembley in 1953. Two great matches that stick out in my memory after watching both on film.

Best pre-match grub?
Competition is fierce: Manchester City’s ham might just edge it.

Best meal had on your travels?
The Kobe beef in Kobe during the 2002 World Cup…mouth-watering memories.

Worst?
Lyon has a reputation for being the gastronomic capital of France. I must have picked its worst restaurant.

Best hotel stayed in?
Upgraded to a suite in the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo – fabulous.

Worst?
Hotel Ukraine in Kiev. It really was the pits.

Favourite football writer?
There are many good and few poor ones. Henry Winter is always good value.

Favourite radio/TV commentator?
Age has yet to catch up with Motty and neither has the competition.

If you could introduce one change to improve PR between football clubs and football writers, what would it be?
It’s getting better, but there are still too many incompetent media officers. They don’t know enough about what newspapers are all about and accordingly can be very negative. And no problems – Wi-Fi should be essential at every Premier League club.

One sporting event outside football you would love to experience?
Been lucky enough to cover all the top golf tournaments and been racing at all the top meetings. But my ambition is to go to the Melbourne Cup.

Last book read?
Just finished `Nobody Ever Says Thank You’ – Jonathan Wilson’s biography of Brian Clough. Superbly researched but he never got near the fella.

Favourite current TV programme?
The Newsroom, first series has just finished; can’t wait for the second.

Your most prized football memorabilia
Billy Hughes’ number seven shirt from the 1973 FA Cup final.

Advice to anyone coming into the football media world?
Don’t forget to subscribe to Twitter – it means you don’t have to make the kind of contacts that thankfully I did. The game has changed.

(The Football Writers’ Association have led the drive for efficient Wi-Fi at all Premier League clubs and most have this facility).

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