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Brian Seymour-Smith interview

Brian Seymour-Smith (pictured) has 11 years of experience as a Sky Television reporter under his belt, so naturally he's seen his fair share of great games, players and goals. Total Football reporter Eugene Allen spoke to him about working for Sky, Bristol Rovers and his own business, Seymour-Smith Associates.

How did the opportunity to work for Sky come about?

I started off in broadcasting 30 years ago as a sports broadcaster at Beacon Radio in 1980. Whilst working at the radio station, I met a guy - who's now a friend of mine - who was doing some work at Sky at the time. He offered me the opportunity to come and work for Sky, which is not something you turn down and I jumped at it.

What was your first game for Sky?

They gave me a tryout game which was between Stoke City and Preston North End which I enjoyed very much and fortunately, 11 years on, I'm still working for them.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of working for an organisation like Sky?

In all my years of broadcasting, I don't think I've ever worked for an organisation that is so professional as Sky. You just look at the way shows like Soccer Saturday and Sky Sports News are presented. It's just a tremendous feeling to know that you work for an organisation that really understands what sport is about.

Describe a typical working day for you as a reporter?

As I work freelance for Sky, I'm out and about doing football reporting and interviewing. A typical day will be a Saturday, although I do sometimes work on Tuesdays and Wednesdays depending on the fixture list. I arrive at games an hour and half early to get ready for the match. I then go through an ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) with the broadcast team and then we're away.

How long have you been a Bristol Rovers fan?

I've supported them since the age of eight, attended my first game in 1964 and I just love the club. I also regularly attend games at the Memorial Stadium whenever I have the time.

You recently applied to be on the board of directors there. Describe what the role entails?

Through the supporters club, I've applied to be on the board of directors to represent the fans. There are three of us that are standing for the position to assist Ken Masters who is already on the board and it's up to the supporters to make the decision. From my point of view, it'll be a tremendous honour if the fans were to appoint me.

If you are appointed as a member on the board, will that conflict with your commitment to Sky?

No it won't, because I wont be doing any Bristol Rovers games for Sky. It'll be wrong to report on Bristol Rovers, that will be a conflict of interest so that won't happen.

You successfully managed over 500 journalists at Villa Park during the Euro 96 championships and today, you have your own PR company (Seymour-Smith Associates). Would it be fair to say you're a natural leader?

Villa Park for me was a fantastic experience. Being invited by the FA to come along and oversee the running of the stadium along with all the journalists was a huge honour. I absolutely love football and also cricket, they're two games I'm extremely passionate about. Anything I can do to promote those two games, I will do. As far as the leader thing goes, I've been very fortunate to have people around me that are just so in to what they're doing. I wouldn't be in the position I am today if I didn't have such great people around me to work with.

At present, what projects are you undertaking at Seymour-Smith Associates?

We're currently looking after the public relations for Warwickshire Cricket Club. We were heavily involved with the £32m Edgbaston development. We also organised the promotion for the Royal visit, the Test matches that took place and T-20 finals as well. I've been very fortunate. From many people's point of view, I have the dream job due to the opportunities that I have had. 

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