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FWA Q&A: Matt Law

Matt Law of the Daily Express on mopping the ceiling, sleeping on a bench and an enjoyable Killing…

Your first ever newspaper?
The Tamworth Herald.

Have you ever worked in a profession other than journalism?
I was a paper-boy and also once volunteered to clean the school for extra cash, but I was sacked for mopping the ceiling.

What was your finest achievement playing football?
Err, scoring a hat-trick in my last-ever game of five-a-side for the Tamworth Herald before leaving the paper. I realise this is not a particularly ‘fine achievement’.

Most memorable match covered?
Brigg Town versus Tamworth. At that point I knew I was in for the long haul.

The one moment in football you would put on a DVD?
Dalian Atkinson’s goal for Aston Villa against Wimbledon when he went around everybody, chipped the keeper and celebrated with an umbrella.

Best stadium?
Villa Park. Obviously.

…and the worst?
St Andrews. Obviously.

Your best ever scoop?
I like to think I played some part in the Twitter revolution by tweeting Theo Walcott had been left out of the England World Cup squad about five hours before it was announced. I went to the hairdresser and switched my phone off after tweeting it and came out with a new haircut and about 2000 new followers inside an hour!

Your personal new-tech disaster?
Touch wood, I’ve been lucky with my laptop. I’ve dropped my phone down the toilet by
accident if that counts?

Biggest mistake?
Leaving my phone anywhere near John Cross is usually pretty bad. I return to find I have sent a host of text messages off to people I then owe an explanation to.

Have you ever been mistaken for anyone else?
My near-namesake Matt Lawton. I have been congratulated and abused for stories he has written. I obviously protest more to the abuse.

Most media friendly manager?
Harry Redknapp – the only Barclays Premier League manager who has ever left me a (non-abusive) voicemail.

Best ever player?
Paul ‘god’ McGrath.

Best ever teams (club and international)?
The current Barcelona and Spanish teams are pretty special.

Best pre-match grub?
Arsenal.

Best meal had on your travels?
The restaurant Da Greco in Barcelona is superb and not too expensive.

…and the worst?
I always struggle in Eastern Europe.

Best hotel stayed in?
The Schloss Elmau during the 2008 European Championship in Austria and Switzerland.

…and the worst?
A low was having to sleep on a bench in a shopping centre during the same tournament. I was moved on like a tramp by the police.

Favourite football writer?
Paul Hayward.

Favourite radio/TV commentator?
Graeme Souness is excellent on Sky’s Champions League coverage and tells it exactly how it is.

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

Tell the truth.

One sporting event outside football you would love to experience?
I would love to go to Augusta to watch the Masters.

Last book read?
I’ve just started The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry.

Favourite current TV programme?
I’ve discovered The Killing quite late.

Your most prized football memorabilia?
I don’t really keep anything.

What advice would you give to any budding football writer?
Be prepared to do anything, anytime, anywhere. It’s usually worth it.

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