Episode 48 – with Tom Watt

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The United Mates Keitel and Joe are joined by Tom Watt, prolific writer and actor, well known for his role on the legendary tv show Eastenders, as well as his one-man-show stage performance of Fever Pitch… not to mention many appearances on the silver screen too! On the literary scene, he’s written quite a few books, typically concerning football. Tom is also a legacy Arsenal fan and more recently has become an avid Cheltenham Town supporter.

Icebreaker:

As Tom has featured in both tv and film productions of Sherlock Holmes, the group name unsolved mysteries that they would each like to solve.

On Tom’s Relationship with Football in his Youth:

Tom Watt grew up within walking distance of the old Highbury stadium and began to support his local club Arsenal from an early age. A father-son activity that Tom shared with his dad has now come full circle and it’s that same dynamic that remains the strongest link between Tom and Arsenal Football Club today, however, now it’s Tom and his son who share the passion for watching the Arsenal. In his youth, the club wouldn’t become the success story that it’s well-known for these days until after he had been supporting them for a few years and from then onwards Tom has been largely spoilt by winning Arsenal sides, that is until more recently.

In Tom’s university days as a student in Manchester he would go and watch Manchester City on occasion but still made time to road-trip down to London for Arsenal matches with his mate Pete in a vintage Morris Marina.

The Tuesday Club Game:

In honor of Tom’s celebrated role in Eastenders as Lofty the barman at the Queen Vic AND paying homage to Arsenal Football Club’s infamous Tuesday Club of the 90’s, Tom names a 5-a-side team of footballers that you might recognize as characters from down your local pub.

Designated driver? Safe pair of hands – David Seaman

First rounds on who? Generous footballer/good at assists – Perry Groves

Jack the lad? Entertainer/wind up – Dennis Bergkamp

1 pint wonder? The opposite of a hard man on the pitch – Anders Limpar

Last man standing? This guy could probably do it on a wet/windy night at Stoke – Tony Adams

On Helping to Write David Beckham’s Autobiography:

Tom gives his insight into the experience of ghostwriting David Beckham’s autobiography, “My Side”. At the time, the book was meant to be released as a cherry on top of to Beckham’s new contract at Manchester United that would have seen him spend the rest of his career at the famous club; in a twist of fate, Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson’s relationship would disintegrate beyond repair during the process, culminating in David leaving to join Real Madrid’s ‘Galacticos’.

On Tom’s Work with EA Sports FIFA on ‘The Journey’ and ‘Volta’:

Tom was brought in by EA to fact check and assist with the narratives for both ‘The Journey’ and ‘Volta’ game modes because of his vast experience around and insight into football and storytelling. With Tom’s help, the game modes have become huge successes for the world’s most popular football video game franchise.

On Fan TV, Punditry, Arsenal FC and Cheltenham Town:

To say that Tom isn’t a big fan of modern day football media and the direction that the top levels of the game are heading in would be an understatement. As somebody who’s watched Arsenal and football in general for over 50 years, he’s pretty satisfied with his own opinion on things. As far as new implementations like VAR and the money-grabbing scheme that almost was the European Super League, Tom has just about had enough of the parts of the beautiful game that are so widely and mindlessly consumed by the masses. Tom not only considers himself to be a legacy fan but has also found a new love in his local team Cheltenham Town. On Arsenal and their current affairs, Tom’s been supporting them through ups and downs over the years and has taken some joy in the reemergence of a Hale End narrative that has been a shining light in an otherwise dismal season for the Gunners.

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