Last Thursday evening I was lucky enough to attend the Football Blogging Awards at the Hotel Football in Manchester, which is right next to Old Trafford. After unfortunately not making the shortlist for Best Young Blogger (thanks to all that voted!), I was part of The Tilehurst End team that went to the awards. After horrific traffic on the M6 that made me worry that we wouldn’t make it in time, I eventually arrived at the venue, where I was greeted by a free bottle of Carlsberg! It was a sign that this evening would be one to remember. I met up with the rest of the TTE team – Dan, Jonny, Sim & Becki – and we lined up for a photo with the models, as you can see above. All the other nominees gathered in the holding room downstairs, where I also managed to spot England legend John Barnes! During this time, I met the man behind the fantastic Deluded Brendan Twitter account, which was slightly surreal seeing as this was the guy who has earned over 320,000 followers thanks to his superb parody account of the former Liverpool boss. Interesting fact: he’s actually an Oldham fan!
We made our way up to the main room, which I recognised from the ‘Class of 92: Out Of Their League’ programme that was on TV a few weeks ago. Team TTE were on the same table as The Offside Rule Podcast, another incredible experience considering that I listen to them every week! It was a room packed full of stars including Barnes, Stan Collymore and the people behind hugely successful blogs such as Copa 90 and The Lad Bible to name but a few. Another famous name was Sky Sports News reporter Bianca Westwood, our host for the night’s awards. After a quick introduction, it was time for the buffet. It was described as a buffet, but it was more like ‘serve yourself pie and chips’! None the less, it was delicious!
The awards began, and as we were nominated for Best Established Blog, we were one of the first to find out our fate. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, but for a blog covering a Championship club to make the top 10 shortlist, I still consider it a great achievement and earned us some recognition! It was then time to enjoy the rest of the evening, and see who would win the rest of the awards. By far the best moment of the evening was when John Barnes came to present an award, and rolled back the years by rapping to the rest of the room. Trust me, he’s still got it even though it’s been 25 years since World in Motion! Here’s just a snippet of the ‘I was there moment’…
Overall, despite not winning, the evening was incredibly enjoyable, and emphasised that this is the industry that I would love to go into the future. To meet the people behind the likes of 442oons, Deluded Brendan (he now follows me on Twitter!) and Cheeky Sport, all of whom I read/watch regularly was amazing, as was seeing ex footballing superstars Barnes and Collymore – I’m just gutted I didn’t get a selfie! Huge praise must go to the founder, Anthony Cooper, for putting on such an incredible event, which he said he hopes can welcome 1000 people next year. Hopefully I’ll be one of them again! I’d like to end on a thank you to everyone who has read this blog and/or supported me in the past two years. As aforementioned, Thursday evening reaffirmed my ambitions of going into football journalism, and you are helping me get closer to that goal 🙂