Football Focus presenter pays tribute to Gary Speed: UPDATED

Football Focus' Dan Walker

Football Focus’ Dan Walker

The presenter of Football Focus who interviewed Gary Speed on the night of his death has spoken of the shockwaves it caused in the industry.
Dan Walker, who presents the BBC1 Saturday lunchtime football show, as well as hosting a weekly Friday night radio programme on Five Live, was speaking to Leeds Trinity students.
He recalled how Wales manager Gary had been on his show the night of his death – and they had made plans to play golf.
He said: ” I’d known Gary for quite a long time, on that Saturday he was bubblier than I’d ever seen him before. I was going to give him a call the day after, we had made plans to play golf.
“I still wonder why he did it and some people are still finding that difficult to process. Gary was one of those people no-one had a bad word to say about. I’m not sure that we’ll ever know the truth.”
The inquest into Gary’s death was inconclusive.
Speaking at Leeds Trinity’s Journalism Week, he told students: “”I don’t think that journalism is a delinquent subculture, it’s a cool and rewarding line of work but there are very few jobs that so many people want to do.
“To get an in you need to work your butt off while you’re on this course. People often ask me ‘how do I get into that job?’ Don’t be dense! Find out everyone involved, find out their email, get in touch. Preparation is key. You have to prepare yourself the best you can and that means working hard on this course.
“The most essential thing is work experience and how you use it. At your work experience they need to know that you are indispensable. Everything you can do to make yourself memorable counts.”
Dan then revealed he cracked his way into the industry by stapling a tea bag to his CV and writing “you might not like what you read here but you’ll like the tea I make.”
He added that interviews can be harsh, and he once lost a job for wearing the wrong coloured socks. But he said you need aspirations and put all your efforts into getting where you want to go. He said: “I aspired to be Des Linham and I thought about it every day. Get a job and then work towards what you want to be doing.
“Wedge whatever you can in the door to make sure you get in there.”
He also said that there was no substitute for honing your skills and admitted that he used to practise presenting TV shows in front of the bathroom mirror: “If you want to be a football commentator the turn the sound down and practise commentating on the TV.”
Dan says this will be the most important summer for Manchester United and the future of David Moyes:
Listen to the students’ reactions to Dan Walker


Dan’s entire talk:



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