The Speech I Was A Little Too Drunk To Give On Saturday Night

By on Jul 9, 2012 in Latest | 11 comments

We went into the evening with low expectations, of course. There could only be one winner from the Best Website category at this year’s Football Supporters Federation Writers Awards, and the other sites against which we had been nominated – Zonal Marking, In Bed With Maradona, Sporting Intelligence, Miniboro and The Anfield Wrap – could not have provided a more formidable array of – and I use the word advisedly – opposition. Yet then, against all of our expectations, our name was the one that was read out and that was that.

Of course, however, by this time some drink had been taken and this rendered any attempts at saying anything meaningful in the acceptance speech broadly irrelevant. So, true to my firmly held belief in discretion being the better part of valour, I muttered some thanks to the other guys that write the site, chucked a swear word in the general direction of George Rolls and his ilk and departed the stage. This, however, isn’t really fair. There are many other people that I should have thanked at that moment, so if you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’d like to go back and give the thanks that I should have given but didn’t due to the mentally corrosive mental effects of varying brands of fizzy German beer.

First of all, I’m indebted to an extraordinary degree to the other writers of this site, to Ed Carter, Neil Mace, Rob Freeman, Jenni Silver, Gavin Saxton, SJ Maskell and Mark Murphy, and also to David Squires, Mike Bayly, Paul Grech, Andy Ollerenshaw, David Bauckham and a whole host of others that have kept it functioning and have kept me sane with their contributions over the last six years or so. I’m also grateful to everyone at the Football Supporters Federation for thinking of us and to everyone at Supporters Direct for their invaluable help over the last few years, in particular to Kevin Rye, who has always fielded my calls, emails and stupid questions with remarkable patience. The same goes for Dave Boyle, latterly of the SD parish, for his patience in answering my often idiot questions, and to Kev Beeley, whose technical support has been invaluable.

I’ll also take this moment to thank those who email me with hints when there is a story that they think we should be looking at, as well as everyone who takes the time to read us in the first place. There are a lot of football websites out there, so thanks for stopping by. Also, thanks to everyone who follows us on Twitter, a good number of whom I’m proud to call friends. Above all, though, my biggest debt gratitude goes to Kate, without whose infinite patience I would be sitting in the corner of my bedroom, sobbing and rocking backwards and forwards with a laptop-shaped hole in the living room window. None of this would be possible without her and, of course, my cat, Yoshimi.

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    11 Comments

  1. Heartiest congratulations to you and the team – very well deserved!

    Dr John Beech

    July 9, 2012

  2. Well done, it’s a well deserved award!

    Richard

    July 9, 2012

  3. Many congratulations – certainly well-deserved.

    Colin

    July 9, 2012

  4. Cheers Ian – I’m glad I do answer your apparently stupid questions, because they result in some really cracking material.

    Well done to you and all of your colleagues on the site; especially to Mark Murphy. Nice one! Be good to share a pint and catch up soon.

    Kevin Rye

    July 9, 2012

  5. Im probably like quite a lot of others that don’t comment on the articles you write but wanted to say well done. I’ve been visiting this site for years now and its views on the game are second to none. The posts are always informative and often funny and i just keep coming back for more. Thanks to you i have a lot wider knowledge of the game and long may it continue.

    Contracts to all of you!!!

    jamie

    July 10, 2012

  6. Congratulations to all of you that should read!!!

    jamie

    July 10, 2012

  7. Congratulations to all !!

    Alan Jones

    July 10, 2012

  8. A just reward for this magnificent website, richly deserved.

    Particular spotters badge for the excellent pieces on Hillsborough etc earler this year.

    And for the exhaustive (and exhausting) coverage of the Rangers saga.

    Looking forward to your series on shady owners reaching my club, Luton Town – with so many to choose from!

    Josh

    July 10, 2012

  9. Well deserved Ian!

    The site is an essential blend of fan culture and objective investigative reporting.

    Mike Bayly

    July 10, 2012

  10. A hearty congratulations and if I can speak on behalf of all those who support Chester FC, we look forward to your number 1 of 100!!!

    Jonathan Kerr

    July 10, 2012

  11. Many congratulations Ian. From a long time-reader and occasional poster, this has been richly deserved in the face of some pretty stiff competition (especially from Zonal Marking which is a personal favourite of mine). Given this increased publicity, can we expect to hear your debut on the Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast when the season starts?

    Joe

    July 11, 2012

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