Christmas cheer from three wise men

Tim Allman, Capital Canaries It's amazing what you get if you ask nicely. A few weeks ago, I wrote to Chris Goreham about the Scrimmage, which is on Radio Norfolk each Thursday at 6pm.

Tim Allman, Capital Canaries

It's amazing what you get if you ask nicely.

A few weeks ago, I wrote to Chris Goreham about the Scrimmage, which is on Radio Norfolk each Thursday at 6.00pm.

“Dear Chris” I wrote, “I know this is a cheeky request, but I wonder if it would be possible for myself and my daughter, Gemma, aged nine to sit in during the Scrimmage show on December 20.

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“It's the first day of the Christmas holidays and one of the few times that we could get to Norwich for an early evening show.

“We travel up for as many home games as we can during the season, and get to the London away games, apart from Palace as they charge £30. Gemma was the mascot at QPR this year, and I also organise the home travel for the Capitals and every month or so I get to write a piece in the Pink'Un.

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“We wouldn't want or expect to say anything, (although I did say a few words on the Radio Norfolk breakfast show the day after the QPR game following Peter Grant's “resignation” speech), just see the show being made as we'd both enjoy this.”

A few days later, Chris replied saying he would be pleased if we could come up for the show, and asked if I would like to be a pundit and say a few words.

It was too good an offer to turn down, and on December 20, Gemma and I were on the 2:30pm train from Liverpool Street to Norwich, and after a diversion via McDonalds we were waiting at Radio Norfolk reception

We were met by Matthew Gudgeon, and then introduced to Chris who was relieved to see us, after the travel problems experienced by the previous week's guests. I looked around for the other guests on the show, a little worried that we were the only ones. There were no others, as the major feature of the show was an interview with Glenn Roeder, which had been recorded earlier in the week. It was likely that I would have to do more talking than I had anticipated.

All four of us were in the studio a few minutes before the programme started. We discussed the Colchester performance and the format of the show.

What immediately struck me was how friendly Chris and Matthew were, and although we were all in a radio studio, it was just like being in the pub chatting with friends.

The show started with some introductions, the Capital Canaries getting a few mentions. Matthew spoke about Ken Nethercott, and the game where he played on with a dislocated shoulder, and the conversation moved on to Glenn Roeder and his influence on the team.

Gemma listened attentively, fascinated by the talk, the headphones and the water dispenser in the studio which she visited a number of times.

Every now and again, Dave, the show's producer would announce that a caller was waiting. A Scunthorpe fan called in to preview Saturday's game, and another listener rang to say that we should not spend any money in the transfer window.

Time flew by, the 6.30 news passed, we were talking to another caller, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. As the red light was on in the studio Gemma knew she should not talk, so she handed me a message written in large purple letters on an A4 piece of paper, which said, “Can I go to the toilet?”

The water fountain had got the better of her. Gemma held it up so that Dave the producer could open the door and she scurried out of the studio. Crisis over.

After listening to another piece of the Glenn Roeder interview, we talked about abuse of players and managers, the subject of which had been in the Press that week.

This reminded me of the time I was an away fan at the Spurs v Arsenal fixture which was Sol Campbell's first visit to White Hart Lane as an Arsenal player. Now that was a atmosphere of hate and abuse.

As the show was drawing to a close Chris asked Gemma a couple of questions about when she was the mascot at QPR, the clock ticked round to 7pm and we were off air. I'd managed to get through the show without coughing or saying anything stupid - a huge relief.

It was a great experience, and thanks are due to Chris Goreham, Matthew Gudgeon, and Dave the show's producer for making us feel so welcome and for letting us contribute to the Scrimmage.

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