Paul Greengrass on the training he got on Kick Off – and the team he worked with

it was a great year. I learned so much. One of the beauties about working in sports television, which you saw everything that there was, you did it all. You made films with a crew, you mounted items in a studio. We did Kick Off on a Friday night. You did OB work. You edited OBs on your own. When I think back when we did the Wednesday live match, if it was a European match, which we fed out to the network, you’d be editing the second half of the football while the first half was actually playing out live. That’s how tight it was. It taught you… all those skills were just the most fantastic skills for our business. Because it taught you how to work quickly and accurately under pressure in all regards. It was all about taking responsibility.


Pat Pearson was a quality OB director and in many ways a trailblazer. A woman in what was then a wholly man’s world of football.

And a really nice person as well.

Yes. Great fun. He (Paul Doherty) got Elton Welsby in, got Ian St John in. He got a whole bunch of, he built a team. It’s what he said he would do. He built a team and they were… I loved Saint. He was fantastically funny, even though he and I used to clash a bit. I remember being in a train going down to Wembley, I think we were, to see the Liverpool-Bruges European Final.


Yes, ‘78. That would have been towards the end of my time there. We had a tremendous row about football. I can’t remember what it was about but I just remember Saint getting the right up and going, “You know fuck all about football! Fuck all.” Fair enough. But it was just tremendous fun. Just tremendous fun and an unbelievable education, as I say, in television. But most of all, in life. The laughter was hilarious.

I remember very early on having to phone up Jack Charlton, who was then the manager of Sheffield Wednesday. Because one of the things I had to do on the Friday was phone up for the team news. I’d have to write it down in my notebook, and come back to him and give Doc the team news. I can’t even remember who the star player was at Sheffield Wednesday at that time, but was so and so playing. And Jack Charlton went… I can’t do the accent, the Geordie accent… but “No, he wasn’t playing. He’s picked up a groin strain in a nightclub.” I, of course, didn’t see the joke at all and just wrote it down. Picked up a groin strain in a nightclub, went into Doc and said, “Oh, no.” He said, “It sounds so plain.” He’d obviously set it up between the pair of them. I said, “No, no. He’s out. No.” He said, “Are you sure about that?” I said, “No, definitely. He picked up a groin strain in the nightclub.” He went, “You fucking knob.” He said, “You absolute arse. Do you not listen to what people are saying to you?”

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