Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You may already know. You may not care. But Danny Baker's back on BBC Radio with a new football show on Saturday mornings and already it's been of interest to East Fife fans.

Danny Baker is one of those presenters that seems to split people down the middle between loving him and loathing him. I've always found him to be a genuinely funny guy who I'll gladly spend a couple of hours in the the company of. His style is welcoming and his enthusiasm infectious. I know some will disagree!

Danny's back on our airwaves though with a two hour Saturday morning show on 5 Live between 9am and 11am. Not the best time to be on when, you have Soccer AM on TV to occupy your pre-match mornings, but for those making the early start drives to matches, it makes for fun listening. Thanks to the modern day wonders of technology such as iplayers and podcasts though, football fans the world over can enjoy his musings whenever they want on by heading over to the 5 Live site HERE and you can listen to the two episodes so far. There's also a link to listen to the two part podcast of the latest show.

Last Saturday's show (September 12th) had a new section where Danny has decided to "twin" UK football clubs together in the same way that towns and cities get twinned together, although his method is to pick the names randomly out of a bin. His plan is that from the moment of twinning onwards, those two Clubs should be forever linked not just on his show but on the whole of the BBC!

The first "twinning" was that of Tranmere Rovers and Watford, both Clubs of course having the current link of John Barnes between them, so a cracking start for the idea.

As the show progressed the second twinning was Wigan and Torquay. Then came the time for the third twinning. Ipswich Town were the first name drawn and their new twin club is now East Fife.

So we now have an official connection with the Tractor Boys. Not sure if that means we'll be seeing Roy Keane paying a visit to Bayview Stadium anytime soon, but stranger things have happened! Maybe this will lead to some regular pre-season friendlies between the Clubs or maybe we can get some of their talented youngsters on loan.

I know it's all just a bit of fun, but here at AFTN we love the whole twinning idea. Not just for us, but just in general. It puts a bit of fun back into football and who knows what things can come out of it if Danny Baker decides to step things up to another level with it all.

Of course, I've been on a mission to try and twin East Fife with Vancouver Whitecaps, but now we have to triple up with Ipswich. Don't mind that at all!

Once Danny Baker makes the twinning he's hoping for fans to get in touch with him to see if they can show a natural link between the Club. Not so easy in the case of East Fife and Ipswich.

The teams have never met in a friendly. When East Fife were doing their tours of England for floodlight matches in the 1950's, Ipswich were still a smaller struggling side.

From the records I have, I can't find a player that has played for both teams. If anyone does know any different then let us know.

So links are hard. There is the fact that Ipswich have a Club crest featuring a horse and East Fife of course used to have a club crest featuring a horse. We both hate our inbred rivals from along the road too. No, we're not clutching at straws here!

There are three good links we cna come up with though for the twinning of East Fife and Ipswich Town.

First of all, the on field successes. Both Clubs have a lot in common in that they are smaller, unfashionable provincial sides that punched above their weight and had a spell in the limelight in their respective domestic game, guided by a brilliant manager.

For East Fife our spell between 1938 and 1953 (interupted by World War Two of course) brought a Championship, a Scottish Cup and 3 League Cups, a lot of it down to the wonderful Scot Symon. Ipswich had their moment in the sun between 1978 and 1982, with an FA Cup and a UEFA Cup win to show for it, along with two League runners-up spots, all under the guidance of Bobby Robson.

The second link was pointed out by Rob Freeman on Danny Baker's twitter page. Mel Henderson is the ex Ipswich Town programme editor and a writer who has penned numerous books on Ipswich. Turns out Mel was from Methil and is an East Fife fan.

The third link is even spookier and features me! Having been part of the Vancouver Whitecaps Southsiders for 2 years now, I've made a lot of football mates. The guy I've got to know best though (particularly due to his excellent taste in music!) is called Chris, posts on the Southsiders Board as Tractor Boy and is, yup you guessed it, an avid Ipswich Town fan that's followed them all over the UK and Europe during their glory days. It was him that alerted me to the whole twinning thing. What a small and crazy world!

That last one gets us in with the triple link too!

Anyone got any more? Let us know on the AFTN forum (HERE) or you can email Danny Baker himself on lord.reith@bbc.co.uk . For anyone wanting to listen to the Fife bit in the show, it's after about 55 minutes into it but seems to be missing from the podcast part of the show but should be on the iplayer.

With Ipswich Town struggling to set the heather alight this season and the Vancouver Whitecaps floundering a little, what two better clubs that have had fine former glories could there be to be joined with East Fife?!

As Fife fans, you know we'd not be happy if we'd been twinned with Man United!

1 comment:

  1. Can't think of any EF/Ipswich connections right now (apart from seeing a Hull-Ipswich game in which Paul Hunter was playing), but agree that Danny Baker is a broadcasting genius. His shows are a welcome antidote to those boring football phone-ins featuring tiresome blokes debating whether this really will be the year Liverpool wins the title (like who gives a shit). Like his anti-establishment views on music too!

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