Calum Leslie

MA Multimedia Journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University

Meeting Marvellous Marv

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Is it your heroes they say you shouldn’t interview?

Do childhood heroes count?

What if we’re talking football?

I ask, because I think ‘they’ might be wrong.

Last weekend I went to the tenth anniversary party of Livingston FC playing in Europe at the club’s West Lothian ground.

As a Livi fan, the night was tremendously entertaining in it’s own right. It showed unseen TV footage of Livi’s ties against Vaduz and Sturm Graz, had a mind-boggling array of memorabilia from the campaign and, best of all, was attended by three former stalwarts of the Lions side.

Captain Stuart Lovell, striker David Bingham and – brilliantly – the man mountain that is Marvin Andrews.

Marvin is a colossus of a human frame beefed up by the biggest personality I think I’ve ever encountered.

He spent his time on the pitch heading the ball as far from goal as was physically possible with brutal strength; yet tempered with the gentle touch that on one occasion saw him, after his clearance hit a young opposition fan in the face, come out at half time, climb the stairs into the crowd and present the kid with a signed shirt.

He was brilliant, clumsy, unforgiving and, sometimes, unsightly with a ball near his feet. He was eccentric and only Marvin could get away with being Marvin. And I adored him.

Yes, Marvellous Marv was a God-like figure to twelve year old Calum.

Ten years on, even getting the chance to perhaps sneak a word in at the party was enough to have me bubbling with excitement.

And then I got told was interviewing him.

My first news bulletin (should I ever get near doing one) will be nothing on the feeling of utter terror I experienced as the big defender responded to my introduction and lumbered up to the front of the stadium’s Ferranti Thistle Suite.

Do not make a mess of this. Open questions. Keep it short. Don’t babble on. Why we here again? Who did we play? What?

Question one’s here all too quick. I say something.

He answers. Like a pro.

Same again on question two. Breathing returns.

Three and four follow that pattern, and by five I’m actually enjoying myself.

I’m talking to my childhood hero, and he just laughed at an attempt I’ve made at humour. This is not bad at all.

After question seven is wrapped up, nobody’s demanded a refund or stormed out. I seem to have held it together. Sort of.

On reflection I think Colin, the host, may have had to wrestle the microphone off me in the end, but small details matter not.

The 12 year old in me needed scraped off the ceiling. The 22 year old wasn’t far behind.

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Author: calumlesliejournalist

MA Multimedia Journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University.

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