The Interview – with BOYD HILTON

boydhiltonToday on the Block 5 Gooner Interview I speak to the voice of the Arsenal Podcast, Footballistically Arsenal, that is better known as  – Boyd Hilton!
Aside from supporting Arsenal and Podcast hosting Boyd is also the Entertainment Director for Heat Magazine, a TV & film reviewer for BBC Radio 5 Live and Front Row as well as doing bits for BAFTA.

Boyd, thank you for taking time to chat with me. Firstly, how long have you supported the Arsenal?
Since the mid-70s when I remember watching them in Cup Finals on TV and I thought they looked good in red and white. I lived in Ilford, Essex, a north London suburb where the main choices of team were West Ham, Orient or Spurs. I chose wisely. And this was way before Arsenal were in any way fashionable.

Can you remember watching your first Arsenal match?
Yes it was 1978 when I was 11 and my Spurs-supporting dad took me to see Spurs v Arsenal and Arsenal won 5-0 including that all-time classic Liam Brady goal.

As first games go that was a cracker of a game!
When you started to attend regularly which end did you stand at Highbury?
North Bank as a teenager, among crowds of 54,000. It was amazingly intense. Much like the Club Level where I sit at the Emirates now. I’m joking.

theohiltonHa-ha! Club level is on my ‘to do’ list but I can’t draw myself away from Block 5 just yet.
Who currently is your favourite player at the Arsenal?
Theo Walcott. Yes, really. Obviously there are way better players in the current squad but I feel a personal affinity with Theo having met him and his lovely family and he must be the most unfairly maligned Arsenal player for years. Whenever he stays injury free and gets a run in the time he does well. Dermot O’Leary, who sits next to me at the Emirates, also loves him and we consider ourselves to be Theo’s honorary, symbolic dads.

Who would you say is your favourite all-time Arsenal player?
Liam Brady. Or Ian Wright. Or Dennis Bergkamp. But let’s stick with Liam Brady – he had the spectacular silky skills at a time when, to say the least, Arsenal weren’t known for our beautiful football.

So Boyd do you have a most memorable Arsenal match?
Arsenal beating Liverpool in the League Cup in 1987, when louche playboy Charlie Nicholas scored two – it was memorable because it was my first trip to Wembley for an Arsenal Cup Final and I got so excited when Charlie scored the second goal that my glasses flew in the air and broke. No idea how I got home.

Bet you didn’t care too much?!
Do you have a most memorable Arsenal goal?
Well Michael Thomas’s against Liverpool to win the league in 89 is the greatest moment in the history of football.

and what about a favourite Chant?
Theee-o! Theee-o! Theee-o!

I should have guessed as your honorary child. Boyd, do you have any pre-match superstitions?
Not really but I do like to wear something red to the matches even though I never wear any kind of Arsenal strip or anything.

Which fixture or teams do you fear and or hate playing the most?NouCampCampNou
Man U or Spurs whenever we play them. It used to be Chelsea but I’m not so bothered now that gigantic twat Mourinho has left.

What’s your favourite away ground that you’ve been to?
Nou Camp! Or Camp Nou.

I’ve just returned from there. It’s a massive stadium!
Are there any team you have a soft spot for?
Orient – my local team in Ilford when I was growing up and I saw a few times at Brisbane Road.

What’s your expectation for Arsenal this year?
2nd place in the League, maybe the League Cup or whatever it’s called. And I randomly think we’ll get to the Champions League semi-final.

I think we’ll go one further. Arsenal like playing in Cardiff.
Have you got an Arsenal claim to fame?
I’ve written for the matchday programme which was a massive honour, and I once watched a match with Theo’s family in his box which was a huge thrill. Did I mention I met Theo? I’ve also interviewed Ian Wright and Freddie Ljungberg for Heat magazine believe it or not. Wrighty was and is a total joy, and Freddie wore a giant woolly hat and we discussed his pants. Glory days! Oh, and I’ve met the legend Arsene Wenger twice and felt massively guilty for criticising him on my podcast.

Some easier questions for you.
What’s your Favourite Podcast?
I can’t possibly listen to any Arsenal ones apart from my own, but other than that Bret Easton Ellis’s BEE podcast is amazing. Nothing to do with football.

and your favourite Blog?gun__1263198050_oleary_dermot2
Tim Stillman’s contributions to Arseblog are absolutely brilliant – so intelligent and well observed. He puts professional football journalists to shame.

Who’s your must have Twitter follow?

Can you recommend another Twitter user who you would be interested in being Interviewed?

Right time for some quick fire questions:

  • Red or Yellow? Red
  • Clockend or Northbank? Northbank
  • Sitting or Standing? Sitting (at my age)
  • Best ever AFC Goalkeeper? Jennings
  • Best ever AFC Defender? Adams
  • Best ever AFC Midfielder? Brady
  • Best ever AFC Striker? Henry
  • Best all time Captain? Adams

 Boyd, it’s been fantastic chatting to you and once again thank you your time.


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