COLIN CALLS TIME ON MIC

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO RESULTS - By John Lyons

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.”

Emo­tional

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

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