COLIN CALLS TIME ON MIC
NEXT Saturday is going to be a special day for Colin Slater – be brings the curtain down on commentating on Notts County matches after almost half a century!
It was back in 1968 that he first hit the BBC Radio Nottingham airwaves, following nine years working as a general news and sports reporter for the Nottingham Evening News.
In an incredible career, the man known as Mr Notts County by club and fans has covered more than 2,500 matches. He has taken in Notts’ five Wembley appearances and also been inducted into the Magpies’ hall of fame.
Now, at the age of 83, he’s decided to ease back the throttle, though he won’t be disappearing from Meadow Lane.
He plans to attend all the home games next season and away matches within a reasonable distance. And, while he won’t be commentating, he will be giving his expert opinion as BBC Radio Nottingham’s Notts County correspondent.
As he reflected on all the football he’s witnessed over the years, The FLP asked him to name his best moment doing the job he loves.
“All my best moments have been associated with the success of Notts County,” he said. “I grew up pre-TV, listening to the FA Cup final on radio.
“I never dreamed or imagined I would one day be sitting at Wembley commentating on Notts. The first time with Notts County was very special indeed,
“Wembley is special and so are the play-offs. Notts beat Tranmere to win promotion to the Second Division under Neil Warnock. Then they beat Brighton the next year to go up into the old Division One.”
As for the best boss, Slater plumps for Jimmy Sirrel.
“The most successful has to be the best – and that was Jimmy Sirrel,” he said. “I had known him as a very young radio reporter in Bradford, so that gave me an advantage.
“He was sometimes difficult with the media. When Notts were in the First Division and certain big names from Fleet Street came, he was a bit cautious.”
As for the best player: “Don Masson – without a shadow of a doubt. Don was the best passer of a ball I’ve seen, certainly in Notts County’s black and white shirts.”
The club made a presentation to Slater at half-time of yesterday’s match against Blackpool, his last home commentary. Then comes the game at Newport County next Saturday.
Will he have a tear in his eye when the final whistle blows?
He added: “Hundreds of messages came in when I announced I was retiring, but I didn’t feel emotional. Whether it might get to me at Newport, I wouldn’t like to put money on!”
MAKING WAVES: Colin Slater, right, with Martin O’Neill