Dave Kidd of the People on nappies, a bar-room brawl and the beauty of Clint Dempsey…
Your first ever newspaper?
The Romford Recorder. The office lobby always smelt of urine but it was a good place to learn.
Have you ever worked in a profession other than journalism?
Stacked shelves in Superdrug as a student. Rose through ranks to be in charge of loo roll, nappies and sanitary products. Power probably went to my head.
What was your finest achievement playing football?
I went a year unbeaten at Subbuteo.
Most memorable match covered?
Personally it was Chesterfield v Plymouth in 1997. The Sun sent me because Chesterfield were to play in the FA Cup quarter-final a week later ‘just in case anything happened’ and to write four paragraphs if it didn’t. In the final minute Bruce Grobelaar in the Argyle goal was barged into the net, sparking a wild-west bar-room brawl. A proper fight. Five players were sent-off in one match for the first time in the history of the Football League. The referee sang like a canary afterwards and I got what I think was my first ever double-page spread.
The one moment in football you would put on a DVD?
Clint Dempsey’s winning goal for Fulham in their epic comeback against Juventus in the Europa League 2010. A thing of unutterable beauty. I think I already have it on at least two DVDs.
…and the worst?
The Dell at Southampton was always hellish to work at.
Your best ever scoop?
Had a fair few bigger ones but the most amusing was my story that Fulham had sacked former Top of the Pops legend Diddy David Hamilton as their PA announcer. On The Sun, we started a campaign to get the great man reinstated. Fulham capitulated and Diddy is still in position to this day. Crusading journalism at its best.
Your personal new-tech disaster?
I am the world’s youngest Luddite at 38. It’s all a disaster for me.
Getting involved in debates with Liverpool supporters on Twitter.
Have you ever been mistaken for anyone else?
My headmaster always thought my name was Brian Kidd.
Most media friendly manager?
Arsene Wenger, pre-match rather than post-match. Always enlightening and never ducks a single question.
Best ever player?
Zinedine Zidane. I spent a whole week watching David Beckham training in a monsoon in China when he first joined Real Madrid and Zidane was so good you were happy to get drenched through every day watching practice sessions.
Best ever teams (club and international)?
From my own living memory. Barcelona at Wembley last May. Brazil in 1982, who made me fall in love with the game as an eight-year-old.
Best pre-match grub?
Arsenal. Bet everyone says that.
Best meal had on your travels?
The best meals are too drunken to remember.
…and the worst?
Covering cricket in Kanpur, India when the state was dry for three days due to a religious festival.
Best hotel stayed in?
I’ve been at Mirror Group too long to remember any!
…and the worst?
Favourite football writer?
Steven Howard. All the better because he’s never on TV, radio or twitter, so everything is fresh.
Favourite radio/TV commentator?
John Murray, 5 Live.
If you could introduce one change to improve PR between football clubs and football writers what would it be?
One sporting event outside football you would love to experience?
An Ashes series in Australia.
Last book read?
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.
Favourite current TV programme?
I honestly don’t watch anything apart from sport or my wife’s house-hunting shows these days. The woman on A Place In The Sun seems to have a rather nice chest.
Your most prized football memorabilia?
Don’t think I have any.
What advice would you give to any budding football writer?
Tell it like you’d tell your mate in the pub. Entertain the readers. And tell them something they didn’t already know. That’s what you’re there for.