Date: 23rd April 2007 at 1:57am
Written by:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Vital Aberdeen is delighted to be starting, hopefully, a string of celebrity interviews with the voice of Scottish football, Mister Cool himself, Mr Richard Gordon.

Richard will need no introduction to most fans in the SPL as he is the voice of your Saturday afternoon and the man entrusted with controlling the likes of James Traynor, Chick Young and Willie Miller in his role as Radio Scotland`s Sportsound anchor.

Richard has very kindly given us his time to answer questions, many of which were submitted by readers of Vital Football, on his broadcasting career and his views on Aberdeen FC of which he has been a lifelong fan.

Please relax away from the stress of the season`s nail biting conclusion no matter which team you follow and enjoy the interview as Richard takes his through his recollections of his time supporting Aberdeen FC, a journey that has seen him run the full gamut of emotions as well as providing us with a great look into the media world.

I`m sure the interview will prove to be a very enjoyable and insightful read to all football fans across Britain as he divulges his memories and tales from what has been a remarkable career so far.

We`re delighted to be putting a face to a voice and bringing you such a high profile football personality and would again like to thank Richard for his time and his openness, honesty and for being the perfect gentleman as he complied with all our requests.

Let`s waste no more time, please enjoy the words of the man often referred to as “the nation`s best broadcaster”, Mr Richard Gordon.



Vital Aberdeen: You were born in Aberdeen, was there ever any question that you wouldn`t be supporting your home side?

No question at all. My Dad was a Dons fan and he introduced me to the team in the 1969-70 season, although it was the following campaign before I really got hooked, helped in no small measure by the 1970 Scottish Cup win.

Vital Aberdeen: Previously, you were employed as a banker, what made you decide to make the switch to broadcasting and how did you start?

Through an old friend who I bumped into in a pub – just the way all great careers begin! He got me into Grampian Hospital Radio as a volunteer and from there I applied for a part-time job with Northsound covering Dons games. A couple of months later I was offered a full-time post within the newsroom and although it meant a more than 50% drop in salary and the loss of my cheap mortgage, there really was no option.

Vital Aberdeen: Now that you`re the BBC`s main man on Radio Scotland and have been for many years now, how do you remain so impartial when speaking about Aberdeen having been cuffed or winning on a Saturday?

The great thing about being the ‘anchor` is that I can act as I like during the match and so give vent to my feelings (good or bad) before I next have to speak into the microphone. It can be difficult at times, but we all have moments like that whatever our job. I try not to get too carried away during the better times, although I would admit to being harsher than others during the bad times. I was never a fan of Alex Miller`s and said so and I was particularly scathing of the dreadful Skovdahl era, perhaps more so than I would have been had he not been in charge of my team.

Vital Aberdeen: Has there ever been a time when you have been unable to remain so composed about an Aberdeen result?

The play-offs against Dunfermline back in 1995 were really quite emotional and I found them particularly draining; I`m not sure I hid my feelings very well the day of the second leg. The most incredible match was one I didn`t even attend. It was in that same season three games from the end at Tynecastle. I was in the studio and we were 1-0 up with just a few minutes remaining when Hearts equalised, a score-line that would almost certainly have relegated us. A couple of minutes later however we put out the news that Billy Dodds had scored and then deep into stoppage time at Tannadice Pat McGinlay netted the only goal as Hibernian beat Dundee United. That was the only time I have actually cried during a programme – it was just the most incredible emotional rush. We then beat United the following week and won at Falkirk to book the play-off place which had seemed beyond us just a fortnight earlier. Memorable stuff, albeit for all the wrong reasons!

Vital Aberdeen: It`s been said that you were a massive Joe Harper fan and veered towards supporting Hibs for a while when he played there. Any truth in that?

Guilty as charged! Joe was my hero and I was devastated when he was sold to Everton. Just when it looked as if he was coming home, the Dons refused to meet the asking price (or so the legend goes) and he signed for Hibs instead. I followed them for a couple of years, while still attending Pittodrie, and only got sucked back in at the end of the 75-76 season when the Dons needed a last day victory to avoid the drop. Ironically Hibs were the visitors, but my loyalties were well and truly with the Reds and the 3-0 win was another fantastic occasion. Joe was back and so was I!

Vital Aberdeen: You`ve worked for Sky Sports, Northsound Radio, Radio Clyde and have been with BBC Scotland since 1991. Have you any ambitions left in broadcasting?

This may sound less than ambitious, but no! I`m sure there are plenty jobs out there that I would enjoy and there are the obvious situations like the Dons winning the SPL or Scotland winning Euro 2008, but in terms of my basic job, I cannot imagine having one that would give me greater satisfaction or enjoyment while still affording me a peaceful and not too stressful lifestyle.

Vital Aberdeen: Some of your colleagues on Sportsound are quite, well, very opinionated. Are there any that you simply generally disagree with or wish would keep those opinions to themselves?

Who could you be talking about? I certainly wouldn`t want them to keep their opinions to themselves ? that`s one of the strengths of Sportsound, the fact that the pundits have such strongly held views and are not afraid to air them. I certainly don`t agree with them all the time, but even if I do, I wouldn`t always say so as part of my job is to stimulate debate. If they are in the main taking one line I will often throw in the counter-argument to try to get them to bite. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn`t.

Vital Aberdeen: How did you feel when you realised that the legendary Willie Miller would be one of your Sportsound colleagues?

It has been one of the most incredible experiences and a genuine pleasure to have the chance to get to know Willie so well over the years. I always found him a little daunting in my younger days, but he certainly mellowed after leaving the managerial hot-seat at Pittodrie and has become a good friend. His achievements in bringing in Jimmy Calderwood, stabilising the club and putting in place a more effective and productive youth set-up cannot be overlooked. Willie has given more to the Dons than possibly any other individual in the club`s history, even Sir Alex Ferguson.



Richard gave us so much and answered so many of your and our questions that we`ve decided to spilt the interview in half and will publish his second later this week.

Keep checking Vital Aberdeen for Richard`s opinions on subjects such as his greatest ever Dons team, his favourite moment as an Aberdeen fan as well as his worst in what is a great insight into the mind of one of Scotland`s top broadcasters and a man with Aberdeen FC clearly etched on his heart.

To hear more of Richard Gordon, tune into BBC Scotland`s Sportsound on 92-95fm or 810 mw, Freeview channel 719, from 2pm till 5.20 pm each Saturday as well as tuning in to listen to him as he hosts the vital SPL matches this week from 7pm till ten on the station.

Let Richard and the BBC team be your guide to the final few nervous matches as the Dons bid for European pastures for the first time in five years.

Richard and his production crew can be contacted by using any of the means below:

Contact via snail mail any time:

Sportsound,

BBC Radio Scotland,

Room 325,

Queen Margaret Drive,

Glasgow

G12 8DG

Contact via text while show is on air: 80295

Contact via telephone while show is on air: 0500 92 95 00

Or go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/ to hear the show online



Thanks again to Richard, we hope you enjoyed the interview and we will be posting the second part ahead of Saturday`s match with Kilmarnock so be sure to check back to www.aberdeen.vitalfootball.co.uk