The Sun’s Charlie Wyett on making sausages…being Pretty…and appearing in EastEnders (sort of)
Your first ever newspaper?
Wisbech Standard in Cambridgeshire.
Have you ever worked in a profession other than journalism?
No. Joined the profession after completing A levels in 1989. Used to work in my family’s butchers shop as a teenager, spending Saturday mornings making sausages but only ever wanted to be a sports writer.
What was your finest achievement playing football?
Scoring with an excellent 25-yard lob for the Norfolk College of Arts and Technology. Unfortunately, the goalkeeper was my team-mate.
Most memorable match covered?
Have been extremely lucky to cover some cracking games and a recent one which stands out was Arsenal beating Barcelona 2-1 at home last season.
The one moment in football you would put on a DVD?
Michael Thomas scoring at Liverpool in the final minute to clinch the title for Arsenal in 1989. Despite being a neutral, remember jumping off my sofa in delight.
I have a soft spot for Villa Park but my favourite ground is San Siro in Milan.
…and the worst?
A few dodgy ones in the Eastern Counties League and also Southern League. Also, the Dell at Southampton and Colchester’s Layer Road were not great. As a supporter, the away end at Millmoor (Rotherham) was particularly unpleasant. A total dump, in fact.
Your best ever scoop?
Still looking for that one.
Your personal new-tech disaster?
Accidentally spell-checking my surname on a match report. Just as my report was heading towards the News International system, I noticed that it read: From Charlie Pretty at Carrow Road. Bit of a contradiction! Thankfully, I stopped it from reaching our sport queue by pulling out all the wires from my laptop.
Have made one or two. . .
Have you ever been mistaken for anyone else?
For some bizarre reason, it does sometimes happen. Am getting John Bishop at the moment. Also Howard Donald from Take That and the actor Willem Dafoe (drunk blokes have pointed at me and shouted Green Goblin). Also Frank Spencer. My Sun colleague Andy Dillon says I look like Dean Gaffney from EastEnders – and he is certainly not being complimentary.
Most media friendly manager?
Harry Redknapp, David Moyes and Alan Pardew are all good. Arsene Wenger used to be. . .
Best ever player?
Thierry Henry in the Barclays Premier League – Lionel Messi is now up there with Maradona on the world stage.
Best ever teams (club and international)?
Brazil team in 1982 World Cup were amazing. Barcelona side of the last few seasons is the best club team.
Best pre-match grub?
Chelsea is excellent. As for a restaurant for fans, Delia’s at Norwich is not bad – as you would expect.
Best meal had on your travels?
Ristorante Europa 92 in Modena. Near Ferrari’s Maranello base, it is northern Italian food at its very best. And not that expensive.
…and the worst?
‘Beef bowl’ at Tokyo airport. Truly shocking. And I am not sure it was beef I was actually eating.
Best hotel stayed in?
Always loved staying at the Hotel Elysee when covering the U.S Open in New York. Would recommend it to anyone looking for a hotel in Manhattan.
…and the worst?
A disgusting one-star guest house in Hong Kong. The nearest restaurant was a McDonald’s but the menu was obviously not in English. I pointed at the board and after getting a funny look from the server, I was handed my food. A Happy Meal with a soft toy.
Favourite football writer?
I know it’s a cop-out but have a few.
Favourite radio/TV commentator?
If you could introduce one change to improve PR between football clubs and football writers what would it be?
A closer working relationship between journalists and players.
One sporting event outside football you would love to experience?
Olympics men’s 1500m final
Last book read?
The Rum Diary
Favourite current TV programme?
Homeland on Channel 4
Your most prized football memorabilia?
Always give stuff away.
Advice to any would-be football writer?
Work hard and don’t expect to be covering Barclays Premier League games within two years.