WATT’S ON BEHIND THE CLUB SCENE
IMAGINE embarking on a road trip to get a better understanding of those football clubs you hear every Saturday evening as the day’s results are recited.
For actor and journalist Tom Watt the idea is a reality as he travels from Brentford to Accrington Stanley for Football Outposts, a film that is a BT Sport productuion.
And Arsenal fan Watt, best known for playing Lofty Holloway in Eastenders, admitted he didn’t take much convincing when approached with the premise.
He told The FLP: “BT Sport Films came to me with this idea of meeting the people behind the clubs we hear week in, week out. I thought it was a great project to be part of – it’s something I might have thought of myself to be honest.
“This isn’t some three-minute clip about butchers and bakers before an FA Cup third round fixture, this is the real deal. We have gone on a trip and hope to show these are the people and this is the story.”
Watt is certainly no stranger to the small club scene. “This is what I live and breathe, you know.” he said. “I am an Arsenal fan, that’s my club but I love football across all levels.
“I’m hugely involved with Barnet for example and as sad as I am to say goodbye to Underhill, I’m buzzing for the opening game with Chester at the Hive.
“Anyone can sit in front of their telly and watch Manchester United – football isn’t about that, it’s about what you want to experience and get from the game.”
He also delves deeper into the success stories at Dagenham & Redbridge as well as Swansea City, who went from the brink of relegation from the Football League to European football.
“When I go to Cheltenham, it’s a completely different experience from going to Accrington or Brentford,” he said.
“No one else has what we have got in this country – the connection all the way down from top to bottom. For me, that is what makes football so unique.”
Among the clubs touched upon in the film, Watt explores the rise and subsequent falls of the likes of former Football League clubs Scarborough and Rushden & Diamonds.
“Why did those fans of Accrington fight to keep football in their town when Old Trafford or Maine Road was just down the road?
“Why have Rushden fans stuck with the club when they’re playing even lower than when Max Griggs rocked up?
“If you don’t know the answers already, I hope Football Outposts goes some way to giving it.” BT Sport Films is a new programming strand from BT Sport which will tell the back stories behind some of the sports we love to watch and the human challenges and achievements involved. Football Outposts, which charts the game around the country at all levels, premieres on BT Sport 1 at 10.30pm this Sunday.
BEST OF BRITTON: Tom Watt speaks to Swansea City star Leon Britton
ON THE ROAD: The Football Outposts team pay a visit to Grimsby