You're in Red Passion!

The Media men

no.15 Rob McCaffrey

Gareth Collins says a big 'hello' to a BIG telly star

Background: Rob McCaffrey: charismatic Sky Sports man with a lot of Wrexham connections

Setting: Gareth contacts Rob. Gareth gets matey with Rob. Gareth asks a few questions

* * * * *

What's your background?

'School in Edinburgh, University in Liverpool - journalism.'

Tell us about your career pre-Sky?

'Radio Nottingham, Radio Shropshire, Granada TV.'

How did you get involved with Sky?

'They asked me to.'

Do you favour reporting or presenting? 

'I do miss the reporting because you get to meet more people and can have a real laugh. Sitting in a studio is more cushy; it's no fun sitting freezing in a car park waiting for a footballer to do an interview, hour after hour, hour after hour.'

Who are your favourite Sky guests?

'Sorry to say it, because I know he's a Swansea man, but John Hartson was brilliant. I'd never met him before and all you can go on is the press. He was just so different. Good laugh, good bloke.'

How did the phone-in show emerge?

'Out of the blue. I was just about to move back to the north-west when the boss at Sky rang me up and asked me if I'd do it. I moved straight down to the Smoke and that was that. I think none of us knew if it'd be successful or not but, touch wood it seems to be getting increasingly popular.'

How did you get the job?

'I think they thought the reports I did were a bit different so maybe they were hoping it would carry on in the presenting. To be honest, I've never really asked.'

How does it work?

'Calls are sent through to a...Being honest - I haven't got a clue. Technology and all that just passes me by.'

Most bizarre call you've ever received?

'"Rob, Fancy a date?" I was just gutted I couldn't say "Yes".'

Who do you support?

'Love to tell you, but I want to be able to walk down the street without getting slaughtered.'

Who are your favourite soccer players?

'Roy Keane is different class. I have a lot of respect for Lucas Radebe because of what he's achieved coming from where he's come from.'

Did you know you were a minor TV star in the USA?

'I hate to say yes, but yes. Minor being the operative word. I do a five-minute recorded piece for Fox News, and some of my mates who live over there have called me. Quite nice really.'

BBC soccer coverage? Discuss!

'Like everyone I grew up with the BBC and Match of the Day, and ITV's Big Match; some of my greatest footballing memories have come from watching the Beeb. I do, however, think that Sky have taken the whole thing onto another level, and without rallying round the flag too much, I don't think it gets the credit it deserves.'

Who are your celebrity soccer friends?

'Clive Allen 'cos he's sitting right next to me now! I'm not sure about the word "celebrity", but you do get on with most of the people you meet. No matter who you support or who you play for, football people are generally pretty similar. Good lads, like a pint, love the game. I'm fortunate to have met people who were my idols and heroes. I tell them they don't understand what they mean to us punters. They take it all for granted - scoring goals and winning medals - when we'd walk a million miles just to pull on the shirt.'

Tell us about your big mate Bryn Law…

'Great bloke and Wrexham through to the core. Fanatical in fact. I met him when he was at BBC Leeds; and when I was leaving Leeds for Sky I told him to apply. He's done brilliantly and is going to be a huge big luvvy star. He's the only guy I've played soccer with who grunts when he goes into a tackle. He ain't a twinkle toes - you can hear him growling about 10 yards away as he lurches into a tackle. When he connects with a centre-forward they don't often get up. When he's growling a lot, they don't go near him. He sang the Welsh national anthem solo at his wedding; there wasn't a dry eye in the house.'

What do you know about Wrexham?

'Quite a bit because I've known Joey for years. It's no secret that he's my all-time sporting hero and, not only that, since I've got to know him, he's become even more of a hero. I got to know Brian and Kev through Joey and they're brilliant. I was also at university with Barry Horne and came down to watch quite a lot when he was playing.'

Joey?

'The guy's a God - end of story. Typically, I've let him down badly - writing his book about five years ago and still failing to find a publisher…because, if there's a story worth telling, then it's Joe's. His wife Janice is just lovely and so too his son Darren. When "OH, JOEY JOEY!" rings out it still sends shivers up my spine.'

How do you rate Brian Flynn?

'Fantastic. What he's achieved is nothing short of miraculous and when you speak to other managers they have the utmost respect for him. Sir Alex rates him so highly - and that was before Darren signed. Think of the players he's brought through and then had to sell. I'm delighted he's at Wrexham, but I think he'd be a top Premiership manager. You see some people getting jobs and wonder why Brian hasn't had the call. He's different class.'

What about your mate Andy Morrell?

'I met him in Leeds where he was working in the gym I went to. I got him a trial with Joey - and the rest is down to him. I think he's a bit like Barry Horne. It takes time to settle into the professional game - I think he's doing it now. I know there's a few managers looking at him, and they ring me up and ask about him. Sorry Brian, but I tell them he'll score goals because, if he gets the service, I think he will.'

What are your media ambitions?

'To stay in a job.'

Cheers Rob - many thanks indeed

rob mccaffrey: top trivia

Favourite/least favourite food? Curry/Too much curry

Favourite/least favourite drink? Wrexham Lager/Urine

Favourite/least favourite TV shows? Ally McBeal/Any soap 

Favourite/least favourite music? Travis/I'm not one for tapping my feet to house

Favourite holiday? Bognor Regis 

Favourite yoghurt? Strawberry

Favourite newspaper? The Telegraph 

Favourite crisps? Salt and vinegar