And It’s Goodnight From Me

Alex in the Wembley press box.
Alex in the Wembley press box.

After two years working at Wrexham, I take a look back at some of the memorable moments I witnessed behind the mic of Wrexham Player.

From dull 0-0 draws, to 6-1 thrashings. From the luxuries of Wembley to the not so luxurious. From Northern Premier League teams to Championship sides, I wouldn’t change a second of my time at Wrexham.

It all started back in December 2011 when Wrexham hosted Hinckley United in the FA Trophy first round. A very forgettable 2-1 defeat to the team who were then in the Blue Square South as Wrexham fielded an inexperienced side. I was in control of the Wrexham Twitter feed that day and was honoured to be involved in the media side of my local team.

Just over a month later and I would be involved in one of the biggest nights The Racecourse had seen in recent years, as Brighton came to town for the FA Cup third round replay. I did a piece for the website for this game and needless to say, like all of the other press associated with Wrexham, leapt out of seat as Andy Morrell’s stunning strike flew past Brezovan in the Brighton goal. Wrexham would go out on penalties after Brighton equalised in the 77th minute. Despite Dean Keates missing the only penalty of the shootout, it was still a proud moment for everyone associated with the club.

My first opportunity behind the mic was a 2-0 win over Bath City in a game where Curtis Obeng scored a rare goal. This really was a dream come true for me, to commentate on a football match, and it was a bonus it was on a team so close to my heart.

Astounding moments would follow for the remainder of that season that I was lucky enough to commentate on, such as Dean Keates delicate chip goal in a 2-0 win against Luton and the 5-1 drumming of Braintree on the final day of the season.

The season would eventually end in heartbreak as Wrexham crashed out to Luton for a second straight season in the play offs, losing 3-2 on aggregate after a heroic display in the second leg at the Racecourse.

My first full season as a Wrexham commentator was off to a flyer as Wrexham strolled to a 3-1 win over Woking on the opening day.

A memorable game for all the wrong reasons was the home game against Hyde in September 2012. Although Wrexham ran out 2-0 winners with goals from Glen Little and Jay Harris, the score flattered the Reds in a game that was marred by some horrific tackles and all round foul play by both sets of players. Thankfully this was a rare event!

I was lucky enough that I got to commentate on 12 goals in just two games at The Racecourse! Wrexham ran out 5-0 winners against Rushall Olympic in the FA Trophy first round and 6-1 winners against Nuneaton.

The FA Trophy final. Need I say more? No. But I will anyway. In the week leading up the biggest game of Wrexham’s recent history, I interviewed Danny Wright. The interview went on for about half an hour and credit the big man he didn’t look to bored by the end of it! In all fairness, in my time at Wrexham, the players have always been welcoming and happy to chat.

The day had arrived. 24th March 2013 against Grimsby Town in Wrexham’s first ever appearance at Wembley. The journey started the day before, digging the car out of snow for 6 hours to no avail! All hope seemed lost until my dad’s friend saved the day and took myself and my brother down to the game. An eventful tube journey to Wembley took place as we were the only Wrexham fans in a carriage full of Mariners. As you can imagine, there was a fair bit of banter flying around.

An absolutely freezing day, culminated in a penalty shoot out and you all know the rest! As you can tell if you’ve seen the penalty shoot out on the YouTube channel, I got a little carried away when Johnny Hunt slotted the winning spot kick home. Cue Tim Edwards (Twitter Correspondent) jumping on me whilst in the middle of commentating!

Wrexham would get to Wembley for a second time that season, but the less said about that the better. Although the journey to Wembley part II was interesting. My first ever away game commentating for Wrexham was the play off second leg at Kidderminster where I had the best football food in history: Aggborough Pie!

This pre season I fulfilled another dream by commentating on Blackburn Rovers as they visited The Racecourse. Although not a huge game, personally it was significant to me as half of my family is from Blackburn, with my dad a huge Rovers fan.

Although the season started well with a late winner against Welling, Wrexham have stuttered. An eventful second game of the season on and off the pitch followed at Halifax. Not only did we get there 2 minutes before kick off due to horrendous traffic, but we were put in the middle of Halifax fans to commentate, not the media section! We eventually found our way round to the media section after a poor first half which saw a red card to Stephen Wright, but we witnessed a heroic come back from the Reds. However it was to no avail as Wrexham fell 3-2 to the Shaymen.

So now starts a new chapter for me. I’m off to Huddersfield University to study Sports Journalism as I look to pursue my dream of becoming a football commentator. The evening game against Luton Town (the opponents I have commentated on the most) will be my last for perhaps a couple of months depending on how uni life is going.

I would personally like to thank Geraint Parry the club secretary who has always co operated and been more than willing to help despite how hectic things get. Tim Edwards the Wrexham Twitterer and Richard Williams from the Leader for also making me feel welcome. Carl Hogan for being an excellent co commentator since last season as well as running the scoreboard professionally! I would also like to remember Steve Edwards who was the co commentator when I first arrived who sadly passed away last year, a man who taught me ever so much and who we sorely miss in the commentary box.

Finally I would like to thank Mark Griffiths. He does so much for the media side of the club that a lot of it goes unnoticed. He gave me my chance which I hope I have taken well. It’s a big gamble to give an 18 year old the chance to commentate on a big club but he gave me that chance. So I wouldn’t even be writing this if it wasn’t for “The Voice of Wrexham”.

You can’t get rid of me that easily though, and watch out for my new column on the Supporters Website coming up on my take on Wrexham from Yorkshire. I will return in: “An Idiot Abroad”!

2 thoughts on “And It’s Goodnight From Me

  1. A great read Alex! It’s been great commentating with you – we’ll go out with a bang on Friday night I hope!

  2. Great stuff Alex. You’ve been doing a brilliant job and our loss is most definitely Huddersfield’s gain! Good luck in Uni, and we’ll enjoy your guest star turns when you’re back home – as long as your appearance fee hasn’t gone up by then!

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