‘My favourite commentator is Roy Keane… and the football manager I love is Eddie Howe’

‘My favourite commentator is Roy Keane… and the football manager I love is Eddie Howe’

‘My favourite commentator is Roy Keane… and the football manager I love is Eddie Howe’

In this week’s column Val, the mum of Mirror columnist and football legend Robbie Savage, reveals her sporting crush, how Stan Boardman makes her laugh and how we all need to look out for each other

Image: Getty Images)


Some of my friends don’t share my passion for watching sport and prefer the drama, romance, handsome leading men and beautiful ladies of films. I reckon sport has all of that.

My favourite presenter is Gabby Logan, not just because she’s class in a glass with her elegant clothes and poise, and not just because she really knows her sport. I love Gabby because I’m reminded how much I had a crush on her dad Keith Yorath, who played football for Leeds and Wales.

Roy Keane is a commentator I have always had a thing for – he is not bad looking, I love his grey beard and adore how he says it like it is because he can’t help himself.

‘Roy Keane is another one I have always had a thing for – he is not bad looking’


( Getty Images)

I fell in love with Newcastle manager Eddie Howe when he said, on Football Focus, his mum was his idol because she brought up five kids on her own. What a lovely man.

And any evening brightens up when gorgeous Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pops up on screen.

Sport makes me shout at the telly, cry over emotional wins and laugh when I see the whippet-quick relay runners in the European Championships and imagine my friend Beryl and I doing it. Even if you haven’t tuned in to sport before, give it a go. It keeps your mind young.


There are few sports I dislike, but boxing’s one of them. I can’t bear to see people bashing hell out of each other, bloodied, knocked to the floor and groggy when they get up again.

So although I didn’t tune in to see Anthony Joshua fight Ukranian Oleksandr Usyk, I did catch a clip of him throwing his belts to the floor in a tantrum when he lost.

My late husband Colin taught our boys, from an early age, that when you lose you put a smile on your face and shake the winner’s hand. He drummed into them that if they were a poor loser they could never be a winner.

Sport makes people emotional, especially when it represents their career, their reputation and a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice.

But real professionals are able to mask the disappointment until they can let themselves go in private. On the night, Anthony Joshua wasn’t tough enough to do that.


( PA)

The best one-liner from the Edinburgh Fringe is apparently: “I tried to steal spaghetti from the shop, but the female guard saw me and I couldn’t get pasta”. I don’t get it. Or any jokes.

I’ve been to see comedians live and I laughed along only because I was looking at everyone else laughing and I didn’t want the performer to focus in on my staring blankly.

I used to lean in to Colin and say, ‘What are they going on about?’ and interrupted him so often I spoiled the punchlines. The only stand-up who made me fall about laughing was Stan Boardman.

He said: “I never knew what a firkin was until I heard my dad say to my mum, ‘‘Put some coal on the firkin fire’.” I howled.


I broke my phone because my eyesight’s so bad I’d been trying to ram the charger plug into the tiny hole, kept missing it and pushed it beyond repair.

I’ve always called it my Dora phone and assumed it was named after an old lady who just needed giant number buttons and simple functions. But now I know it’s actually called a Doro phone, designed for seniors, because my daughter-in-law Kim nipped to Argos and bought me a new one.

This phone had a mind of its own. I typed the letter ‘o’ and it suddenly spelled out the word ‘one’. I wondered if Uri Geller was secretly inside it, pushing buttons I didn’t want pushed.

Kim was kind to buy me the phone so I didn’t want to throw it out the door, although I was tempted. So in a panic I called my granddaughter Caitlin from the landline.

‘Why can’t we all just have a simple phone that makes calls, texts and doesn’t use telepathy?’


( Getty Images)

“Productive text is not productive if it’s taking me twice as long to send a text,” I said.

“Nana, it’s called predictive text,” she said, before Kim popped round and, with thumbs flying over the screen, turned it off wth a few clicks.

Being sent round the bend with techo-rage isn’t good for my blood pressure. Why can’t we all just have a simple phone that makes calls, texts and doesn’t use telepathy?

An Apple phone? I’d rather have an apple pie.


The cost of living crisis is getting very scary now. A woman on the news had one mug because she sold all her crockery and her bed was a mattress on top of crates. It broke my heart.

And on the wireless I heard about people coming out of retirement because they can’t afford to live on their pension.

They were people who have done a lifetime’s graft and thought they could take their foot off the pedal to enjoy their later life. But now they’ve gone back to work, wherever they can land jobs, because they have to choose between eating or heating.

Worst of all, no one can see an end to it. Whoever becomes the next Prime Minister won’t wave a magic wand and make it all go away.

It’s patronising to be told to tighten our belts. Belts are so tight we can hardly breathe. All we can do now is make sure we look out for each other.


The summer heat has turned everyone’s grass brown and made me run out of Tena Ladies because I was sticking them all over myself.

I can’t wait until the leaves fall, the evenings darken and I can light candles, wear my fluffy dressing gown, snuggle on the sofa and feel away with the mixer.

* If you’d like to contact Val, please email [email protected] or write to Va Savage, PO Box 7290, E14 5DD. The Mirror makes a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society in lieu of payment.

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