The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Tom Am­brose

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

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