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FWA Q&A DAVE ARMITAGE

Have you ever worked in a profession other than football?
I was briefly employed as a ‘giant’ – The Journal Giant to be precise, when I was a cub reporter on the Telford Journal.

DAVE ARMITAGE of the Daily Star on a Swedish dog’s dinner…probably the worst headline ever…and [ahem] Maria Sharapova

Have you ever worked in a profession other than football?
I was briefly employed as a ‘giant’ – The Journal Giant to be precise, when I was a cub reporter on the Telford Journal. The job description seemed to be being pelted with kola cubes and sherbert lemons by hyped up kids at the local cinema. It was a new club the paper was promoting and me being 6ft 5in tall, I fitted the bill perfectly.

Most memorable match?
St Mirren v Hammerby of Sweden. St Mirren had drawn 3-3 in Stockholm, so away-goals wasn’t a problem and they were leading 1-0 with a Frank McGarvey goal in the first-half. With two minutes left, nothing could go wrong. Wrong. The Swedes equalised, but away goals was still enough to see St Mirren through. Then Hammerby scored again in stoppage time – but it was disallowed. Phew . . . then they scored again with last kick of the game to put St Mirren out. Needless to say the first edition looked like a dog’s dinner

The one moment in football you would put on a DVD?
Probably the above to remind me that things can always take a dramatic turn.

Best stadium?
Maracana – just loved seeing Christ the Redeemer lit up through the roof of the stadium.

…and the worst?
Personally I hate Goodison Park, but only because the Press Box is so cramped I can’t get my long legs in. Nightmare.

Your personal new-tech disaster?
Once spilled coffee over my tape recorder.

Biggest mistake?
Once, as a young sub, I inadvertently put a headline on a story which caused a storm. It was a small filler about legendary Hollywood director Steven Spielberg marrying his long-term lover. Not having seen the film in question I put the headline ‘Schindler’s Wedding List’ on the story and the editor was bombarded with complaints for days.
Have you ever been mistaken for anyone else?
Not as such, but I was in Istanbul with Stoke and, because I’m very tall (and English, obviously), taxi drivers and market traders seemed to find it amusing shouting out ‘Peeee. . .ter Crouch.’

 Most media friendly manager?
Probably Steve Bruce.

Best ever player?
George Best.

Best ever teams (club and international)?
Brazil 70. Recent Barcelona side.

Best pre-match grub?
Arsenal.

Best meal had on your travels?
Fantastic Tempura prawns in a harbourside restaurant in Barcelona with Henry Winter.

…and the worst?
Some sheepy, cheesy kind of mush in Oman. Never actually eaten Foie Gras – I personally think anyone who eats it or even contemplates eating it should have their toe nails pulled out with a rusty pair of pliers.

Best hotel stayed in?
Palace Hotel, St Moritz.

…and the worst?
A hotel in an industrial town in Bulgaria on an Aston Villa trip. Bare electrical wires hanging from wall and a man at breakfast who put a lock on the fridge containing bottles of water.

Do you have a hobby?
Writing 70s-based nostalgia novels.

Favourite football writer?
The late, great Ian Wooldridge.

Favourite radio/TV commentator?
Martin Tyler.

If you could introduce one change to improve PR between football clubs and football writers what would it be?
Napalm.

One sporting event outside football you would love to experience?
Maria Sharapova.

Favourite non-football sportsman/sports woman?
Muhammad Ali.

Last book read?
John Steinbeck ‘Of Mice and Men.’

Favourite current TV programme?
Scott and Bailey.

TV show you always switch off?
Embarrassing Bodies and any of those ‘I’ve got 22-stone testicles’ type programmes.

If you could bring one TV series back which would it be?
Columbo.

Favourite comedian?
Early Billy Connolly

What really, really annoys you?
Anyone who says ‘I hear what you’re saying’ and a particularly girly scarf last seen around Antony Kastrinakis’ neck.

Your most prized football memorabilia?
I’m hoping to get Kastro’s scarf.

Advice to anyone coming into the football media world?
Definitely learn another language.

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