About Me

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Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom
I'm a director of Maidenhead United Football Club. For ten seasons one of my roles at the club was to produce the match programme. The aim of this blog was to write football related articles for publication in the match programme. In particular I like to write about the representation of football in popular culture, specifically music, film/TV and literature. I also write about matches I attend which generally feature Maidenhead United.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Baker & Kelly

The media pack which leeches off football to all intents and purposes lives up to its parasitical nature which leads it to patronize, sensationalize and worst get it plain wrong, all in the name of attention and circulation. This state of affairs pretty much held sway until the fanzine movement took off in the 1980s, revealing to the world that the phrase "intelligent football fan" was not an oxymoron. Of course the media was eager to cash in on this phenomenon but unsurprisingly got it wrong by presenting egregious no marks such as Tim Lovejoy and David Baddiel as the face of the fans. This now flows through to non league football with the execrable journalism of the non league paper/today.Yet somewhere in the BBC lay a commissiong editor with the nous to appoint the one person who knew the score, schooled in the fanzine movement (albeit of the punk variety) and a steadfastly loyal supporter of an unglamorous lower division club. His name was Danny Baker of the famous Millwall (accent on the second syllable) and no one, I repeat no one was going to prevent him telling it like it is. Hosting the original 6-0-6 Baker quickly created a loyal audience with his weekly fare of referee baiting, revelling in the comeuppance of the good and the great, and most of all celebrating the everyday tales of football fans everywhere, who win, lose or draw, rain or shine would be at the match every week. Of course with attendance a given for Baker and his ilk, attention focused on the minutiae of the journey travelled by fans rather than simply measuring its worth in silverware. Thus conversations turned to the strangest sights you have seen at a match, bona fide characters and your club, and most of all anything that raised a laugh. All pomposity was banished with supporters who rang up from Devon to complain with outrage about how Liverpool/Arsenal/Man U etc had clearly by hard done according to the radio commentary being given the shortest of shrifts. These early days of 6-0-6 proved to be halcyon ones though as the BBC shied away from the iconoclastic Baker, instead opting for the literally conservative views of David Mellor. Although on the plus side this did lead to an unforgettable Bakeresque caller ringing up the man who traded his support for votes to inform him that he was a "tugboat"*. Baker flitted from station to station, initial bursts of enthusiasm fading quickly to lead to disillusionment as the station controller realised that he had a loose cannon on his hands. Fortunately for the time being at least, Baker has found a way of broadcasting his revolutionary streams of consciousness by taking hold of the means of production and recording regular podcasts with long time side kick Danny Kelly. These episodes provide little in the way of news about the world of football but plenty to make you laugh as week in week out the two Dans to the backing track of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir bring you details of: "fans who don't seem bothered during games", "getting in for free", "nicknames for football supporters you don't know", "fans who leave/arrive early", "have you seen a footballer shopping", and many many more.A particular favourite of mine at the moment is one line gags involving footballers, and fantasy dinner party introductions. Here are a few gems from Friday's show:
Is Ralph Coates related to Kenny Jackett?
Is Lucas Neill related to Peter Crouch?
Is Robert Green or did Keiron Dyer?
Wayne Rooney meet George Clooney
Julio Arca meet Sarah Jessica-Parker
Joleon Lescott meet John Prescott
Collins John meet Joan Collins
John Obi-Mikel meet Obi Wan Kenobi
Alan Hansen meet David Janssen
Dennis Law meet John Thaw
Peter Schmeichel meet George Michael
Nat Lofthouse meet Amy Winehouse
Lee Dixon meet David Nixon
Keiron Dyer meet Derek Guyler
Tommy Lawton meet Beth Orton

The Baker & Kelly football podcast is available to download free from http://www.bakerandkelly.com/ or iTunes.

* Dowload the 16/11/07 episode of Baker & Kelly to find out what was actually said.

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