OM and football commentator returns to MGS

Posted on: June 18th 2018School News


One of Britain’s most decorated sports broadcasters and a familiar voice on Match of the Day returned to MGS last week to inspire a new generation of journalists.

BBC and BT Sport football commentator Alistair Mann, a former pupil at The Manchester Grammar School, returned to MGS on Thursday 14 June 2018 to speak to Sixth-Formers about his career.

He also sat down with Year 10 pupils Bruno Quinney and Fergus Stevenson and, in somewhat of a role reversal, was interviewed by the boys for their football podcast 'Kick Off', which is broadcast on MGS Radio.

After leaving MGS, Alistair trained as a journalist at the department of Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Central Lancashire.

He told a packed audience of MGS Sixth-Formers how he gave up his weekends for unpaid work experience at the Manchester-based Piccadilly Radio (which became Key 103, and later Hits Radio), learning the ropes.

After four years, he got a job as a researcher at ITV Granada, and told MGS boys that he stood out amongst the 4,000 other candidates for the job because of his years of work experience with Piccadilly Radio, which convinced Granada bosses of his passion, commitment and determination.

While at ITV Granada, he honed his craft while working alongside sporting commentating greats such as Martin Tyler and Clive Tyldesley. Eventually Alistair got his chance at commentary, and later presented all their sports output including Soccer NightLate Kick Off and the daily news magazine show Granada Reports.

Since 2006, he has been a regular on the BBC's flagship Match of the Dayprogramme. He also formed part of the BBC's coverage of the 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and 2016 Rio Summer Olympic games. Alistair is also a commentator on BT Sport, covering UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, French, German,Italian and MLS football.

He has won three National Royal Television Society awards and is also a previous winner of the BT Journalist of the Year award.

Meeting Alistair was a particular highlight for Bruno, as the teenager has his sights set on a career as a football commentator or even a chat show host, and earlier this year was heralded as one of the best young sports commentators in the UK, as he was one of just 15 youngsters shortlisted from across the country for BBC Five Live’s Young Commentator of the Year award.

Bruno said: "Meeting Alistair was such an amazing experience for myself and Fergus. We have been so used to connecting with his voice but the connection he made with us in person was just as memorable.

"Alistair was extremely supportive of our podcast too, which was particularly encouraging as we look to develop it further. The fact he was so open to our questions too made for a great interview.

"I think Alistair is a great inspiration for boys at MGS considering the career he has already had. He insisted upon the idea of following your passions and as me and Fergus consider a career similar to Alistair's, it was fascinating to hear about his experiences."

Fergus added: "It was really interesting hearing from Alistair, particularly about his multitude of both football and media experience."