In2views: Kay Murray

The latest in a series of profiles and interviews, Orginal Fat Bob gives his personal view on the life and career of a footballing guest, before sitting down for a chat and asking a few questions. Our Diasboro special guest this week is Kay Murray.

1. The Overview – the woman and her career

Kay is best known as a well-respected and experienced sports presenter for USA and European football. She was born and raised in Middlesbrough and is a Broadcast Journalist with a degree in journalism. With over a decade of on-screen experience in Football Broadcasting, which includes working with such well-known clubs as our own Boro and Real Madrid. (I suppose this is due to the similar style of play and excitement watching these famous teams – OFB).

Kay is also a keen writer, with articles published in numerous football magazines and websites. (You never know, she may one day contribute to our humble Diasboro blog for our posters and lurkers worldwide – OFB).

She says that her career is entirely owed to the fact that she loves football. A devotion which was gained whilst spending her childhood watching our team, through good times and bad. The fact that she is attractive, personable, well qualified and intelligent probably helps her career as well.

She realized her dream, to closely work with the Boro and their players, when Kay got a lucky break and joined Boro TV Extra from June 2002 to June 2004. She had initially gone down to the club to model the latest Boro shirt for publicity, but whilst there she met the Executive Producer of Boro TV whom she used to live near to. It was to prove to be a lucky reunion for Kay and she subsequently hosted, wrote and co-produced a live weekly football warm-up show. This was Middlesbrough Football Club’s official channel and some of you may remember this was the first official football club channel well before Man United and Chelsea had thought of it. This experience of TV encouraged Kay to do her degree in journalism and the rest is history as they say.

Kay Murray - Bein

Her experience includes having worked for FIFA, UEFA, Fox Sports and shows covering the Spanish soccer league La Liga. From 2011 through 2013, she jointly co-hosted the FIFA Ballon d’Or awards ceremony alongside Ruud Gullit and between 2013 and 2016, Kay hosted the FIFA Interactive World Cup show.

In Dec 2012, she began working for beINSPORTSUSA, the North American sports network. She has also worked as a Spanish Football Correspondent for the Malaysian Astro TV network’s show FourFourTwo Eurozone.

Her work for the Real Madrid TV channel included both the international and Spanish speaking audience. Kay was a Pitch Side reporter for Real Madrid on match days, both home and away. She also travelled the world with the team, twice assisting them in their pre-season tours of the USA, reporting on the team’s day to day news in both English and Spanish.

Meeting Kay for the first time, it is obvious that she is an accomplished media professional. She puts you at ease and has a warm personality and unusually in her position, she also has a self-effacing attitude.

Kay Murray - Zidane

One story that she tells is, whilst she was at Real Madrid TV she was to be introduced to David Beckham for the first time. She got up early in the morning spent a lot of time in the Bathroom, doing her make-up and hair and popped some chewing gum to keep her mouth fresh. It was only whilst she was in the car on the way to the stadium that she realized she had forgotten to clean her teeth. Absolutely horrified at meeting him and greeting him in the Spanish style of giving and receiving a kiss on both cheeks, she managed the situation by adopting a typical English greeting of a formal handshake. She went on to say that her male colleague looked at her in some shock at this greeting and told her that she had just missed the perfect opportunity to get two kisses from Beckham! She remarked to me rather wistfully that Beckham had smelled gorgeous!

Her Real Madrid experience included contact with well-known and famous managers, including Fabio Capello and Jose Mourinho.

Whilst we attempt in our own way to pose her some pertinent and possibly impertinent questions in our interview, it should be noted that Kay has interviewed many famous stars for TV shows and specialist documentaries. These include the late Sir Bobby Robson, Jose Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka;

Her forecast for the Boro home game against Bolton was for a clean sheet, with a 2 0 win for the Boro (A good judge – OFB).

2. The Interview – a quick chat

OFB: What was the first Boro match you remember going to see?

KM: It was at Clayton Blackmore’s testimonial against Manchester United when I was about 14 or 15 at the time. I also vividly remember the last game we played at Ayresome Park when John Hendrie scored the last goal there.

OFB: Who was your favourite Boro player then and others that you watched at that time?

KM: I had more than one, I loved Stuart Ripley because he came to see all the kids at Kader Primary School where I was. I loved John Hendrie because of the way he played, always with a smile on his face. French Frank-(Quedrue) due to his fighting spirit and of course Juninho. I had never seen a player before who was quite like the little fella.

OFB: How did you manage to join Boro TV as a professional presenter?

KM: It came after I entered the Boro Babe competition, I took on some work experience and got the opportunity to pilot a new show.

OFB: What has been your most memorable game, your own individual performance in front of the camera and best experience with the fans?

KM: The Carling Cup Final was unforgettable, in terms of performance – the Ballon D’or.

The Arsenal fans in the 03/04 season were particularly memorable. In my role as ‘Boro Babe’ I had to walk around the pitch in the new away kit, the Arsenal fans all started cheekily shouting that I should ‘do a Ravanelli!’ I, of course, declined to reenact his famous celebration but was still able to get a giggle from them and raise a cheer from the stands!

OFB: Is your job as glamorous as it looks?

KM: People often see only the glamorous side of the job, but a large part of the role is spent office-bound, researching and keeping an eye on all the latest news.

OFB: Is your job as exciting as it seems?

KM: Football is usually exciting, whether it’s a thriller of a game or one that offers up a lot of drama or storylines, so yes, the job is generally quite exciting.

OFB: What was your worst game or experience and why?

KM: Barca 5 Real Madrid 0 in 2010 at Camp Nou. As I was working for Real Madrid at the time, being pitch-side for that game was tough. Things went from bad to worse when the heavens opened, and we didn’t have umbrellas either. That was a match when Real Madrid could not do it on a cold, rainy night in Barcelona!

OFB: Who was in your opinion the best manager that Boro have ever had and why?

KM: It’s hard to name the best manager, but Bryan Robson really did propel the club into the limelight. I love Tony Mowbray as he’s such a good guy and Aitor Karanka’s achievements cannot be overlooked.

OFB: Who has been the greatest influence on your career and why?

KM: Undoubtedly it has been Middlesbrough Football Club, my granddad and my Mum who has been a big help. Also, a great influence was the late Sir Bobby Robson.

OFB: Which opposing team and which player did you fear Boro playing against?

KM: Arsenal back in the Invincible era with Thierry Henry et al. I was at Highbury for Arsenal’s 5-3 comeback win against us. Years later, my first player interview at BeINSports USA was with Thierry Henry himself. We talked about that game and he remembered pretty much everything about it!

OFB: Who is your current favourite Boro player and why?

KM: Adama Traore, I have a soft spot for him, but I know that he hugely divides opinion.

OFB: How do you think the match day has changed from the time that you started watching and presenting professional football to the present day?

KM: The biggest change is how much more glamorous and lucrative the football industry is today.

OFB: If you could be a fly on the wall, is there any dressing room you would wish to eavesdrop on?

KM: Any of Pep’s team talks or for Bobby Robson’s England back in the 1990 World Cup.

OFB: Do you have any regrets in your career, or missed opportunities?

KM: I regret not making it home for promotion as I had to work on a game later that same day. I wish I had done more to try and switch my schedule, but it was the year of my wedding, so it wasn’t easy.

OFB: Who was the nicest person that you have interviewed and why?

KM: Ruud Van Nistelrooy. He was very down-to-earth, spoke well and was always very kind to anyone he worked with.

OFB: Do you still follow the Boro and their results

KM: Is that even a question?! Always! Even my Italian husband is a fan…he has no choice, really!

OFB: Whereabouts do you live these days and what are your career ambitions?

KM: I live in Miami Beach, Florida and would love to continue working in football.

OFB: Whom have you made a lifelong friend through football?

KM: Hayley McQueen, and all because of Boro TV.

OFB: Is it nice for you to think that you can act as an ambassador for Middlesbrough’s town, the Teesside area and its people?

KM: It means so much to me. I will always fly the flag for Boro, wherever I am in the world.

OFB: Finally, if you hadn’t had a professional career as a sports broadcaster, what do you think you would have done as a career?

KM: I would have had a career in Advertising or possibly Property. I can’t really imagine doing anything else now though!

OFB: A huge thank you Kay for taking the time to talk to Diasboro and all our readers, posters and bloggers. She is going back to work on the recent El Clasico game between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Hurry back from Miami soon.


Kay took a great interest in our blog and she has promised to retweet it to her Boro followers and others worldwide which is a staggering 115,000!

We look forward to her possibly joining and sharing our blog and taking an active part in our moans, groans and general discussions about the Boro, all things football related and sometimes cricxxx!

130 thoughts on “In2views: Kay Murray

  1. OFB

    What a great interview with a supporter whose head hasnt been turned by success.

    Another to interview is Steph McGovern, people tweeted congratulations on her pregnancy she but tweeted back ‘I am not with baby.. I am with pot belly.

    With both of them you can take the lass out of Boro but not the Boro out of the lass.

    Neil Grainger, Bob Mortimer, Mark Benson, Tess Daly, Alistair Griffen, all play their role.

    Musn’t forget Chris Rea.

    1. Ian

      Thank you I have actually spoken with Steph and she is a great supporter as you say

      There are a lot of hurdles to jump before I can get my piece with Steph approved by the BBC legal eagles

      Mark Benton often comes to the Boro when he can but is quite busy on the Big and Small screen these days

      Don’t see Chris Rea but I am in contact with his former manager John McCoy he of the Crawdaddies and Cleveland Tontine fame. John used to be the manager for Chris and is currently writing his autobiography of his time in the music business

      I hope to get round as many different people as I can and hope everyone enjoys the variety


      1. How is the health of Chris Rea nowadays as I am a bit out of the loop?

        Great interview, Bob. Naturally I do not know her so well as I don’t live locally. But facinating. Keep them coming, Bob.

        One for the future is Gary Gill as a player, too. Up the Boro!

        1. Many thanks

          Don’t know how Chris is these days everything seems to be quiet on that front

          Never see Gary Gill at the Riverside as his office is at Hurworth and he is always busy watching target players on matchdays


    2. Incidentally Kay and Steph are great friends and went to the same school

      When I interviewed Kay who should turn up at the end but Steph sonI grabbed her. Metaphorically speaking and if we can get the In2View approved we’ll post it in a few weeks

  2. Pulis has been linked with a move for Hibernian’s John McGinn but it is unlikely Boro would agree to pay the £5m demanded from Hibs manager Neil Lennon.

  3. Leeds United have made a move to sign Middlesbrough central midfielder Adam Forshaw, according to Football Insider.

    The reliable sports news site claim that United have taken the first steps in their battle with Championship rivals Cardiff City to sign Forshaw, 26, after manager Thomas Christiansen requested the signing of someone who can add drive from midfield.

    Football Insider report that the former Everton youngster has an “uncertain future” at the Riverside and a number of clubs are actively monitoring his situation

  4. Thanks OFB for another excellent in2view. The template you have adopted works really well, a brief but informative background before going into you Michael Parkinson chat.

    I didn’t know about Kay until she was mentioned in earlier editions of Diasboro. She comes across as a really nice and we’ll grounded young lady. What a great way to make a living that she fell into and good on her for flying the flag for Boro and her home. I love the fact she has converted (or is that coerced) her Italian husband to follow the Boro!

    If you are catching a conversation with “celebrity” supporters as well now, don’t forget Stephen Tompkinson. As for Roy “Chubby” Brown, MB in Sydney, if OFB did in2view him most of the transcript would just be asterisks!!

  5. Werder

    Thanks for the new graphic, don’t know where you get the time.


    How about an interview with Tony Pulis, it could go be along the lines ‘these are the questions the Gazette would have asked’.

  6. Bournemouth striker Lewis Grabban is attracting interest from several clubs, with Middlesbrough reportedly one of them.
    Grabban returned to the Vitality Stadium last week after cutting short his loan spell with struggling Sunderland.
    The 29-year-old scored 12 goals in 20 games for the Black Cats before his short stint on Wearside was mutually terminated.

    According to the Bournemouth Echo, Grabban’s departure has alerted the attention of Middlesbrough among several other clubs.
    Championship high-fliers Wolves as well as promotion hopefuls Cardiff, Fulham, Aston Villa and Bristol City have also registered an interest in the striker.
    But it’s Neil Warnock’s side who are believed to be leading the chase and have already entered positive discussions with Bournemouth over a potential move.
    The Cherries are also understood to prefer a permanent deal as opposed to another temporary switch, having already seen Grabban join Norwich on loan last season.

    Meanwhile, Adam Forshaw is a target for Boro’s Championship rivals. According to a report, Leeds have joined Cardiff in the race sign the 26-year-old, whose future at the Riverside remains uncertain.
    Forshaw has yet to feature under new boss Tony Pulis, who is looking to trim the overloaded squad he inherited from Garry Monk.
    The former Everton midfielder hasn’t played since the 2-0 win over Ipswich over a month ago.

    Pulis has identified an imbalace amongst the squad and has admitted players will need to depart before the end of the transfer window.
    “The squad is a big squad, and we?re trying to move a few out,” he said.
    “Then, if there?s room to bring one or two in, we?ll do that. We want to make those changes, but it takes a bit of time.
    “There are no offers for our players at the moment. If that changes, then Neil (Bausor) and the chairman will speak about that.
    “There?s been interest in some of them, as there is with us with other people.

  7. Seeing it seems to be a month for birthdays, I thought I’d blog to say that I’ve reached the big 80 today, the same day as the great Muhammad Ali although he was born 4 years later than me. I must say that after my wife died of cervical cancer aged 67 nine years ago, and together with my health problems of aggressive prostate cancer, a tortuous colon (nasty), a hiatus hernia, folliculitis, high blood pressure and plantar fasciitis I certainly didn’t expect to see this day.

    Not having any children, one of the main reasons I’ve made it is joining this wonderful forum; it’s been a lifeline for me and given me the incentive to battle against my ailments, just a pity that Boro couldn’t fight successively against relegation last year, because it’s seeming unlikely that they’ll get back into the Premier League in my limited lifetime, but I live in hope.

    As you may be aware, I’m here in sunny Portugal for another nine weeks, and am meeting up with my Canadian, Swedish and Portuguese friends for a celebratory lunch today, So still enjoying myself, and just wondering what might befall me, Boro and Cas as I enter my 9th decade tomorrow.

  8. I said against Preston that we were really effective in the 4-1-4-1 formation going forward and I thought we were again against Fulham, especially in the 1st half. But once again the left side looked a bit clunky to me, last time it was Bamford out there and this time Braithwaite, not helped by a very poor George behind him. It’s clear to me that a new left sided attacker is needed and I think TP is already onto this judging by his “unbalanced team” comments and our glut of midfielders heading towards the exit door. But I’m hoping that recruitment will be leaning heavily on TP’s player knowledge for this position rather than leaving it to our own recruitment team and their patchy success rate.

  9. This is probably your best yet, Bob, in what’s become a series of great reads. It’s often said “home is where the heart is” and we should never lose the essence of what made us who we are to begin with. Despite the work mostly being in Belfast, I’m in Derry as often as I can be.

    I agree with her about Robbo, Mogga and AK – and I’ll add that all three deserved better finales than they got. But as Mr Eastwood said, deserve’s got nothing to do with it.


    “People often see only the glamorous side of the job, but a large part of the role is spent office-bound, researching and keeping an eye on all the latest news.”

    Indeed. Whether you’re in the office or working freelance at home, a lot of it is about research, research, research. I’ll – personally – add that a lot of passion mixed in certainly helps, and Kay undoubtedly has it.

    1. Thanks Si appreciate a professional comment!

      Believe it or not I actually do research the people I Interview and it’s not just doing a cut and paste job from Wikipedia as you know.

      I do feel more comfortable doing these now.

      Bit as you know when interviewing people sometimes they don’t like talking about themselves !

      I enjoy doing them and as Ken remarked it’s certainly better seeing Kay Murray than AV! (Sorry Av)

      There are some more interviews on the stocks and it helps Werder when we have a bit of a lull to keep the blog momentum going.


  10. Ken

    All the best, have a great day. My mum used to say creaking gates lasted longest so keep creaking, you have a responsibility to keep reminding us of players from the past so you cant dodge your duties. Don’t forget the poetry.

    Keep posting and keep us posted.

    Best Wishes

  11. Wondering if potential ex hero’s to interview attend any games,Big Jack, Eric Mcmordie, Dave Mills, I’m sure there are others you lose track of,and forget.
    The reason I ask Tommy Lawrence recent passing and the reminder of his interview on the streets of Liverpool prior to a Mersey derby and the reporter had no idea .

    1. All suggestions are welcome for the In2Views keep them coming

      Big Jack is not too good these days at getting about.

      Eric Mordordie is one that I should track.

      David Mills I know very well as his son went to school with my lads and our paths also crossed business wise too.

      He’s often to be seen at the Riverside but he’s always working as he is the Chief Scout for Leicester City and it’s difficult to have a chat as people are always grabbing him.

      Stephen Tomkinson was also mentioned and I’ll keep a look out for him

      As I’ve mentioned before for the cup game it’s Big John Hickton.

      Also coming a week later is Sunderland Legend Jim Montgomery ! I think we should be open and interview people who have had a great career in the game and who can forget his brilliant save in the 73 cup final !

      My father (Newcastle) and me (Boro) sat and watched in awe. It is a moment with my late father I will never forget.


  12. Happy birthday Ken and many more of them. Keep taking your medication, Beer, Wine or spirits.
    My Father used to be mates with a Ronnie Smith at Dormans any relation?

    The Leeds fans are tweeting about what a fantastic signing Forshaw will be the man to get them promoted.

  13. Many happy returns, Ken, I hope you have a wonderful celebration.

    OFB – more lovely work. Good to see you selfishly taking one for the team. Have you thought about Olympic long jumper Chris Tomlinson as an interviewee? He’s very much a Boro fan. Due to his height it was never hard to spot him in the crowd at the London away games when he lived down here. I believe he’s back living in Linthorpe now.

      1. Thanks to all for your good wishes; we’re all members of the same family – the Boro family. To Michael Beveridge, no relation to Ronnie Smith although my father was a plater at Dorman Long.

    1. Leeds are closing in on a deal for Adam Forshaw as soon as tonight, according to a report.

      The Yorkshire Evening Post claim that Leeds are hoping the deal will be concluded in time for the player to make his debut against Millwall on Saturday.

  14. A little surprised to see that the club have allowed Marcus Tavernier to go out on loan to M K Dons given that TP had previously stated he liked to have 3/4 of the younger players involved with the first team squad.

    Presumably all part of the current pruning plan.

  15. Thanks to our In2views beast OFB for yet another beauty with a very interesting read with his Kay Murray piece. For my sins as a non-viewer of specialist football channels and a non-social media user hadn’t heard of her until recently. However, despite rubbing shoulders with football royalty, she appears to be a grounded person as I would expect from someone coming from Teesside – from where not many of us probably grow up thinking we’re going to get away with being all high and mighty 🙂

    Still good to have someone trying to put Middlesbrough on the map and be an representative and an exponent of both our football club and rather appropriately in her case the beautiful game !

    BTW Congratulations to our Diasboro birthday boys Ken and GHW, who also share the day they were born on with Al Capone and Benjamin Franklin – though who best relates to who I can’t really say…

  16. Ken, a big virtual hug from far away. I wish you all the best and look forward to your 100 bithday in 20 years time. You never know but Boro might have won the FA Cup by then. There is always hope.

    You are an essential part of blog. Keep the memories flowing about the players from the past. And poems, too.

    Have a happy Birth Day in Portugal. We got half a feet of snow today. Must be warmer down there 🇵🇹 🔆🔆🔆🇵🇹.

    Up the Boro!

  17. I thought there should be rhyming
    To fete your special day
    In words that that are defining
    The thing I want to say
    So please accept this little verse
    That celebrates your skill
    And prays that things just can’t get worse
    Despite you are quite ill
    Iberian sun is what you need
    And friends to raise a glass
    To memories of youthful deeds
    To wife of course, and Cas
    So thank you Ken for being you
    And sharing of your best
    There’s more posts yet I’m sure you’ll do
    A very welcome guest.

    Bon anniversarie mon vieux
    (Sorry, don’t do Portuguese!!)

    1. It’s really hard
      To be a Boro Bard
      Including all the gen
      And Birthday wishes to our Ken
      Some bloggers will have had their fill
      Saying cheers to Ken and you Powmill

  18. A late in the day Happy 80 th Birthday to Ken and whatever the number is for GHW! May you both have many more and see Boro promoted.

    I know where I would rather be, in the warm of Portugal.

    Keep on blogging and as my MIL says keep on buggering on!!

  19. Best birthday wishes to Ken and GHW, both of whom provide unique and very different ingredients to the rich brew of this blog. And thanks to OFB for a very interesting interview.

  20. Werder
    Great new graphic and am curious why there’s a rainbow over Australia. If it was always there then my apologies for being unobservant. Anyway thanks again to you and all the die-hard contributors for so much effort that is bringing a lot of pleasure to so many…..and happy birthday to everyone.

    Lovely chat with someone who sounds great. For me, one of the best aspects of this blog is it’s determinedly civilised approach to the world. Coming out of that we see fascinating international links that cover the globe and the many aspects of modern day society all linked together by a common passion for the Boro. Your chats and general contribution are very much part of the new cement that is building a better and ever more enjoyable experience. As are your tantalising insights. OFB – The Man Who Knew Too Much.

    Living here in Oz, often feels as if I’m marooned at the end of the world, particularly when it comes to Boro events. However, it may amuse people to know that the one and only Massimo Maccarone is actually playing soccer in the A-league for Brisbane strikers. There’s a person who would have a tale to tell about life at the centre of that extraordinary run to Eindhoven.

    i have to say that I’m very much looking forward to your chat with John Hickton. For me, he was a real force of nature. No good standing in the way. Rather like John Craggs or Stuart Boam. Built of granite with a name to match.

    With the apparent departure of Forshaw, it looks as if we’re gearing up for some real activity. I’d like to ask what people think about selling Traore in this window. I can’t see the point. He may be hit and miss but he can do things that few others can and that is not common in the championship. Will he lose his value by the summer? I don’t think so and by then he many have just helped us into the top 6. I was able to watch the full game against Fulham on BeIn and the first half and, particularly the first half hour was some of the best football that I have seen us play for years and he was at the heart of a lot of it. Sessegnon is touted as a Pds30 million player and yet Traore made him look foolish. Pulis’ problem is finding a way to get enough people into the box to take advantage of what Traore can do. Had we been 3-0 at half-time it wouldn’t have been flattering. I also don’t understand why he pulled him onto the left wing in the second half. Was it tactical. He wasn’t anywhere near as effective and Sessegnon became more active as the game went on. I can also understand the comments about his fitness level. He doesn’t seem to last a whole game. Anyway, yes, we were robbed but I’d rather than that than a dour 0-0 with nothing worth watching because this level of play will see us competitive against anybody.

    Finally on the game, and as a long time Gestede supporter, I find it hard to know what to say. He is excellent in the air, very good with his chest on balls hit long and gets slowly worse as one descends down his body. Having said that, he puts himself about, knocks people off the ball but then doesn’t quite get the next bit right. Pulis will really earn his corn sorting that out.

    As a last question, can I ask whether the blogosphere is optimistic about the rest of the season. In this I’m not just talking about promotion but also about whether MFC will be in a better place by May, either promoted or looking very likely to challenge strongly. Personally, I think that Pulis is a consummate professional who understands his job and will make the club better. Everybody who has worked with him is full of praise and I wonder if we were all guilty of absorbing the shoddy journalism that looks for a simple tag, labelled him ‘long-ball’ Pulis and moved on.

    Best to all


    1. I agree Selwynoz, the media look for simple labels with which to patronise their viewers/listeners/readers.

      What is the special one’s approach to football? We saw it at first hand from his protégé. You could call it anti-football if you needed a label. Defend in depth – sap the strength and will of your opposition and be fast and clinical on the break.

      If it’s Porto, or Chelsea, or Real or Man U it’s all OK. But really, what is the difference between that and the way that TP (other maligned tacticians are available) sets up to play. The only difference is the quality of players available which gives the richest teams the pick of the crop to be successful playing that way and (give an impression of) appearing to play “well”.

      The best coaches/managers set their teams up to their strengths and always, that is always, build on a strong defensive platform. That is because it is self-evident that it is no good being great offensively if you are vulnerable at the back.

      The game is about results and (most) fans are happiest when they get the results they want to see. I would argue a 3-0 win playing the Mourinho way is much more acceptable to the watching supporters than a 0-0 the Guardiola way.

      The trouble is expectation. Success for the Stoke Cities and WBAs of the world is really achieving a secure mid table premiership position. But, if that becomes the expected, then it becomes the minimum expected, which then becomes the bare minimum and that in turn becomes unacceptable. Success is relative. What I mean is that fans get accustomed to the teams level and so that stops being seen as success which becomes something else, a higher level to achieve.

      So, for me it is not surprising that managers like TP have a shelf life at their clubs and for many of those clubs, trying move on from these managers will often lead to a decline.

      I am looking forward to what the window will do for Boro and certainly anticipating an exciting second half of the season, whatever the ultimate result.

      1. Powmill
        Agree with the blog.
        I often think that the British leagues are so fiercely competitive that to fall behind is to lose, more often than not.
        If that is true, then it follows that most of the leading clubs will expend most of their efforts on possessing a rock solid defence.
        If that is true, then the price of top defenders will show signs of rising to the levels of top strikers, which, strangely enough, seems to be happening.
        Looking at the record of AK in the above department (sublime) makes you want to have a quiet cry.
        How did it come this, after the pain we have endured over the past ten seasons, to finally get a manager, then let the players rock the boat.
        Good luck to him and Forrest.

  21. Selynoz

    I think you’re right about Pulis and his long ball label given by the media. Any chance it’s because he was able to get the better of the “big clubs” on occasion and those self interested hacks didn’t like their free lunch type of journalism being put at risk. I for one was guilty of believing it but on the evidence I’ve seen with my own eyes it’s just not the case.

  22. He seems to be, dare one say it, a decent intelligent man who reacts to the circumstances that he finds in the light of an experienced career during which he has made a lot more right decisions than wrong ones. How many of us on here would hope to have people saying exactly that about our work in various places.

  23. I haven’t been able to get on to the blog for a few days so it has been an enjoyable read over the morning tea and coffees. Great piece OFB, a nice easy reading sensible format with insight too. Excellent.

    The next few days are going to be very interesting with ‘goings’ but what will the ‘comings’ be? I suspect outs before the strategic purchases to help build the Pulis machine. I reckon a few on here must have felt that Mr Monk was like a kid in the sweetshop just spending because the money was there and it had to be spent. With or without a plan.

    Belated greetings to the birthday boys too. Oh yes, what news on the Ironopulis banner OFB.



  24. A quick question for bloggers.

    I always enjoyed going on Harry Pearson’s ‘the first thirty years are the worst’ to read his fine article.

    The last one was in May 2016, anyone know what he is up to?

    Great interview target for OFB, sorry Bob, enough on your plate I know.

    1. I’ve wondered the same Ian, I thought he simply signed off for the summer so maybe he has a new time absorbing project. I check every morning hoping for a new article only to be disappointed.

      I have his home address, maybe I’ll drop him an. old fashioned communication with a stamp on it.



    2. I’ve been in touch with him

      Harry Pearson was born and brought up on the edge of Teesside. He is the author of eight works of non-fiction. The Far Corner – A Mazy Dribble through North-East Football, was runner-up for the William Hill Prize and has been named as one of the Fifty Greatest Sports Books of All Time by both the Observer and The Times. He wrote a weekly sports column in the Guardian from 1996 to 2012, and won the 2011 MCC/Cricket Society Prize for his book about Northern club cricket, Slipless in Settle. He lives in Northumberland.

        1. Update from the man himself

          Pottering along. Write a column for @WSC_magazine cricket stuff for various bits of Wisden empire, knock out a book every 2 years and watch @theofficialnl most weekends

      1. “Slipless in Settle” by Harry Pearson (also known as @camsell59 on Twitter), published by Abacus, is a GREAT book. Its tag-line is “A slow turn around Northern cricket”, and it is basically the story of days out watching league cricket all over Northern England including games at Guisborough, Stockton, Carlisle, Workington, Ashington, Bacup and Horden. You will gather the author’s local loyalties from his Twitter handle.

        Since I have given it a credit, and indeed a recommendation, I can give an excerpt.

        “At Middlesbrough I caught the Saltburn bus. We left the town to the east past a shop called ‘Hump It and Dump it’, the advertising line of which proclaimed ‘We don’t just talk rubbish, we shift it’ and on through Brambles Farm which, as anyone familiar with the tradition of British urban nomenclature will already have surmised, is a council estate of baleful aspect, up Ormesby Bank, the sort of long, sharp incline which slows the bus down to such a pace you start to feel you are actually going backwards and on into the outer suburbs, mile after mile of seventies housing estates, once aimed at the sort of ambitious young Northern executives exemplified by Rodney Bewes in The Likely Lads. Indeed, it’s hard to pass them even now without imagining that behind the curtains a young couple is drinking Mateus Rose and reading the instructions that came with the fondue set.”

        …….(he then goes on to recount having been handed, by an old school friend, an envelope containing an A5 hardback notebook that the author had filled years ago with scores and reports from cricket matches watched in the previous millennium; the names of players underlined in red denoting Test players; initials indicating the type of bowler etc – all spotted by the wife, who starts to ask awkward questions before sniggering: “Oh, I can see you, sitting in the stand at…where was it…Bletchley? With your felt tip and your ruler?” – “I didn’t do it when I was in the ground”, I snapped, “I’m not a total twat. I did it before I set off.”)…….

        “At Fountains Garth, Guisborough were batting. Blackhall’s fast bowler Stuart Lobb was galloping in against a backdrop of the jagged Cleveland Hills, which poke sharply upwards as if they have the aspiration to be mountains, but not quite the height…..”

        As I say, a REALLY GOOD read. In fact I started to type this earlier this evening, got engrossed in dipping in and out of the book again, and forgot what I was doing, lost the first bit of typing and had to do it again! It takes the mind off work, anyway.

        1. MATCHDAY passes for QPR+ Pass live streaming are now available for our match against Middlesbrough.
          R’s fans overseas can watch our match against Boro live from Loftus Road with a QPR+ Pass matchday pass.
          For just £5 you can enjoy a multi-camera live stream production with replays and graphics of the match.
          QPR+ commentator Nick London will be joined by Club Ambassador Andy Sinton to guide viewers through 90 minutes.
          To purchase a matchday pass for £5 please click HERE and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
          Alternatively you can sign-up for the remainder of season for just £65 accessing every eligible broadcast. All QPR’s Sky Bet Championship fixtures not selected by Sky Sports or an overseas broadcast will be available to show live this season.
          Unfortunately EFL restrictions prevent us from being able to offer live streams to UK and Ireland based supporters.
          However, we will be offering a dedicated live audio commentary service for our loyal supporters on home soil with every first team fixture being available with a QPR+ Pass Live Audio Commentary subscription for just £20 for the remainder of the season.
          Full sign-up details can be found HERE.

  25. A Sunderland ref
    An ex Sunderland player tackle
    Sunderland demise?
    Blame those who left
    Looking at it again, it was a very quick whistle ,almost hoping and expecting.

    1. Let’s not go there we will rise above that !

      As AV has said if we start questioning allegiance of all referees we start going into a dark place so we will move on.


  26. Just catching up on the Gazette website after yesterday’s celebrations, and noticed one comment regarding Adam Forshaw’s impending move to Leeds from a blogger who suggested he was only a ‘fridge’ player, probably a type cast error meaning a ‘fringe’ player. Another blogger, quick as a flash, then wanted to know if that’s why Forshaw was left out in the cold.
    It made me laugh, and was worthy of an OFB comment on this blog. Or maybe it was OFB in disguise!

  27. I think it’s time the so called to three / four went their narcissistic way into generic football wilderness ,playiing der
    bys in Turkey,France,Italy,Germany, wherever!
    Leaving our domestic game with it’s loyal fan base competitive spirit of equality and history,it would thrive once again,with the idea of good management will win you trophies not money.
    YES! that word money.
    These wages now being thrown out are now beyond description, I accept it’s the free market way,but the likes of Pogba showing up in a million dollar Rolls for training, Sanches almost two million a month, I could go on.
    Time to let these clubs go,they are actually , deliberately trying to undermine the rest and infact could put some into bankruptsy for just trying to play in the same league.
    Is it time for a new British league? And turn the tables on them.

    1. gt
      Absolutely, in complete agreement. The sooner the top European clubs form a League of their own with 18/20 clubs playing 34/38 league matches on a weekly basis the better for the rest of the Premier League clubs in this Country. That would entail our top 4 withdrawing from the Premier League, the remaining clubs having a salary cap making a level playing field for the rest, and the incentive of every club doing a Leicester.

    2. GT,

      They are the people who could help grass roots football in a big way. A donation to Hartlepool Utd? Not even a week of some player’s salaries. Ultimately they are a bore with their sanctimonious entitled attitude. There should be a club tax to help clubs not that much further down the ladder.

      I think one manager in League 2 said a week of Rooney’s salary would keep them afloat for a year. The disconnect between those four clubs, maybe five, and the rest of football in the UK is incredible.

      As my grandfather would have said, get shot. Their own league would be great but ultimately they’re scared because there wouldn’t be any whipping boys and guaranteed points.



  28. All comment re. Traore being sold seems to have been dropped.
    Hope it does not happen.
    The team has shown no sign of using his talent to score goals, I begin to have my doubts about their ability to score.
    The business of getting into position, getting forward, heading for the goal line, all seem foreign to them.
    Traore, (that would be the crazy dribbler) would have every right to ask the club what they are playing at, no matter what he does, where he places the ball, there are no takers, all too busy to bother converting a few of the chances.
    I can understand why they went along with the crazy dribbler story, it took the spotlight off there shortcomings.

  29. That European Superleague would, ultimately, be even more boring. It wouldn’t be a ‘Champions’ league really, someone would win it then they would go into the, er, nothing. No more pompous pseudo religious anthem as a fanfare. Where would you go go if you were relegated? It might even improve Scottish Football. No, on second thoughts.

    If you signed up for it as player there’d be no trophies to win, medals for the china cabinet. No more Fa Cup, league Cup, Winning the Premiership.

    Brilliant as a concept, I’m all for it then the rest of us can get back to a fans game, in a perfect world of course.



  30. The top teams in the Premiership are not daft, they want the funding that marketing of the league provides.

    There is little to be gained by envy from the likes of ourselves, since when didn’t the top clubs get the benefits of being the top clubs> What do you think has changed?

    Clubs in the second tier in England are way up the pecking order in Europe. There are few leagues with greater purchasing power or crowds that the likes of ourselves enjoy.

    The alternative to what we have is the like of Spain where Real and Barca suck in nearly all the money. They get nearly twenty times what the club in 20th position in La Liga. In England it is twice the money.

    Please stop griping for the sake of it, be careful of what you wish for.

    Sorry about the rant.

    1. Ian
      Think back to the 40s when Portsmouth won the league in successive seasons, the 50s when Wolves won it three times, the early 60s when little old Burnley and Ipswich won it, the 70s when Derby won it twice, and not forgetting Nottm Forest in the 70s. That was when the First Division was competitive and before the advent of the Premier League which in my opinion has been a disaster for the National team. That’s where salary capping would be effective. It’s certainly used Worldwide in Rugby League, and a form of it in most US sports. We even have a system in Speedway in Britain where clubs have to adhere to a maximum total of riders’ averages per club so that one club can’t dominate the league every year.

      Personally I enjoyed football more when the First Division was an Open Championship, not a closed shop as it is today. We used to ridicule the Scottish League because only two teams could win it. Now we have a situation where money dictates that all the European Leagues including England are usually won by the same small number of clubs, and that is why I question what is the point of a club like Middlesbrough wanting to compete in a league where success is measured by finishing in the top half of the league at best, or avoiding relegation at least.

      Let’s have a form of salary capping, restrict all clubs in having a maximum number of say 3 or 4 foreigners on the field of play at any one time, and get back to the glory days when nearly every match was competitive.

  31. Mixed feelings about Mr Adam Forshaw.

    For a long time I felt he was a very useful player to have. He could pass, break it up and set off moves as well as anybody, and he scored one memorable goal (Reading H) and hit one dazzling pass (Sunderland A) for us all to remember.

    When he was around, it seemed that Boro would be more creative, a greater threat, than we would be with the Leads-Clayton axis. And he was a decent guy off the pitch by all accounts. So I understand the regard for him.

    There were times, though, when I felt – to borrow Mark Drury’s words about the inferior Nicky Bailey – Forshaw became something of a fan’s rallying cry when he wasn’t playing. Yet when he did play he was hardly the great midfield saviour. I don’t recall him ever playing terribly, but I don’t recall him being brilliant either. Even the comparatively maligned De Roon scored more goals than Forshaw did in fewer appearances for Boro.

    That, and the Leads-Clayton axis was the heart of our team, the presence, muscle, will and occasional directness which was, in part, required to beat the eighty points mark for two seasons running – something a lot of teams out of the top flight for years simply do not do.

    The whole was greater than the sum of its parts. And while De Roon and Forshaw could certainly be useful, I felt they needed a Leads or a Clayton beside them to play at their best. A midfield without Leads or Clayton just didn’t seem right, in the same way that Ayala without Gibson didn’t feel the same.

  32. Tan,

    I’m not griping for the sake of it, there’s an imbalance whichever way you look at it and being the elite doesn’t give you the automatic rights to all the riches. We’re not Spain either, someone, some clubs just need to stand up to them why should they cream off the bulk of the funds? Because they are the best? When there’s not a lot left below them what are they left with? See Scotland here.

    The second tier in England may be way up in the pecking order compared to the rest of Europe but what does that say about the rest of Europe? Do the best teams there see themselves as some form of aristocracy?

    The simple fact is the teams in question don’t care about anyone else, that is what entitlement does. Grass roots? Who cares, certainly not Manchester United or City, Liverpool or Arsenal. Maybe they do support that ideal in some way and my opinion is wrong but I would like to see some manifestation of it.

    Sorry about the rant but I don’t think they care about football as we think of it, only themselve and the balance sheets. But then that’s nothing new.



      1. Well I did ask for rumours OFB, but if they are anything like true, I for one am not impressed.

        Morrison will be 32 in May, so no spring chicken. We already have Grant the wrong side of 30 and Howson 30 next birthday. We want a younger player not one who is injury prone now.

        Grabben, can score goals but not overly tall…6 foot, and again too old at just turned 30. We already have players as good as he is. Won’t get him on loan and a fee at his age and a minimum 2 years contact. Same as Morrison not value for money.

  33. Make no mistake I am no lover of the amount of money in the game but big clubs always dominate the game.

    Portsmouth were a big club at the time when players were slaves on minimum wage.

    Forest wand Derby won titles when they were big clubs – Forest were the first team to pay £1m for a player.

    As a middling sized club we lost players to bigger clubs. Geoff Butler to Chelsea and Cyril Knowles to Spurs. Souness, Johnston and Hodgson to Liverpool, Pallister to ManU.

    It is still the same situation just the numbers are bigger.

    We had a ground with 20-25,000, ManU 50,000. We now have a ground holding 33,000 but Manu now have 75,000, Arsenal 60,000.

    We couldn’t compete in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, we cant compete now.

  34. Been meaning to thank Simon for his heads up on Derry Girls a couple of weeks back.

    It’s the funniest and most authentic thing on TV at the moment , for my money. Brilliantly acted all round, with a terrific sense of place and period, and dialogue, fizzing with energy and intelligence, that has a great joke just about every other line.

    Derry must be, and should be, proud.

  35. Well candidates for the In2Views seem to be rolling in.

    Frank Quedrue has said he will be really pleased to talk to me and give an interview.

    All these past players share one thing and that’s a love of the Boro


    1. I bloody love Frank. I saw him once in Portrack Asda wearing a black roll neck jumper and sandals in December. He looked like he was chiselled from French granite and I was in awe. One of my favourite players of the McLaren period – his goal in the crazy game vs. Arsenal I will always remember (although shout out to both Job and Jimmy for absolute belters in that match).

      Highlights for those who want a reminder:

  36. According to reports from various sources including MFC official site, there will not be any new players bought this window, if TP gets enough players out, he may ask SG for a couple of loan players.

    Just saying so that people are not searching all the web, looking for information about Middlesbrough transfer business.

    Come on BORO.

  37. Mr Forshaw is a continuity player. He wasn’t bought with that in mind, and I’m sure at some point in his fledgling career he earned the tagline “hot prospect”, but whether or not age dulls the enthusiasm or he suffered under the AK-based limpi-limpi* method of football possession, he turned out to be a continuity player. A jack of all trades, the sort of player who rarely stands out and rarely takes a risk. The margarine in your sandwich, if you will – he didn’t really add much to the flavour of the team but he tied it together and kept it ticking over.

    He seems a likeable chap, but we made some money and we move on. Curious as to whether or not it is a good move given Leadbitter’s legs, but maybe Clayton/Howson is seen as the axis of the future. Who knows what lurks in the mind of the Great Pulis, perhaps there are plans afoot in the loan market.

    As for further outgoings there are indeed areas we can trim, but I’d be surprised if we sanctioned any “big” outgoings, even given the ever decreasing likelihood of us gracing the PL next year. Traore seems to be on an upward curve in terms of his value, if Pulis can get him to score 5 goals in the second half of the season and another 5-10 assists then he’s £20M+ in todays market, especially seen as he could give your pet whippet a cracking good run out on the lead.

    Britt seems the only one who’s face obviously does not fit. Oh to be a professional footballer, just about one of the only professions where you can be bloody well effective at your job and suddenly find yourself a few months later being told that you need to provide an entirely different skillset if you want to continue. Still, I expect the lucre helps soften the blow.

    * I sort of coined this from an abbreviation of the Spanish for windscreen wiper: el limpiaparabrisas. Feel free to forget I ever said it and let me quietly get my coat.

  38. How long is it since we bought a striker who does ” what it says on the tin”
    Britts goalscoring has been as good or better than everyone back to possibly Viduka, JFH or Rav.
    Yes he misses some but so do all strikers.
    Surely he won’t be discarded after half a season.

  39. Sensible decision by TP not to buy any players this month but to rely on loanees. Any purchases at this stage of the season would be a big gamble in hoping to get promoted via the playoffs. Better to recruit loanees with a point to prove to their own clubs and if by some chance we do get promotion, buy Premier League players in the Summer. If we fail to get promoted TP will still have a reasonably sized transfer budget to get it right next season.

  40. Hi Len,

    Thank you. Thank you so much. Your words on Derry’s latest triumph mean a lot.

    I’ll forward them to writer Lisa McGee, Tara Lynne O’Neill, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell and anyone else I can think of.

  41. Ken

    You are right, loanees who want to get on are better than the great unloved jettisoned by their previous club.

    The prices are higher in January because the selling club knows the buying club are desperate.

    Any players that come in are likely to be short of match fitness and will time to get up to speed, may be in to March before they are fully integrated if at all.

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