‘Last of the Summer Wine’ – Rotherham commentary team are break-out hit of Stoke City draw



Tuesday night did not look like an ideal situation for Stoke City supporters who were trying to watch the game at Rotherham.

The match was not on Sky Sports’ red button and BBC’s decision not to let reporters travel outside their region meant that Stoke had to use the home audio feed.

Radio Stoke listeners could still hear commentary from Lee Blakeman and Andy Quy, the keeper coach who is proving a popular new addition to the punditry team, from the studio in Hanley, while viewers were bracing themselves for a forgivably home-leaning report.

Instead, Rotherham’s in-house trio – commentator Matt Goodwin, Rotherham fan, ex-player and coach and life president John Breckin, and Les Payne, who reported on Rotherham for The Star for 45 years – gave a mix of insight and entertainment to both sets of fans.

They welcomed Stoke supporters along, took social media ribs about sounding like Last of the Summer Wine in good spirit – “None of us has ever fallen down a hill in a bath.” – and told stories about Rotherham’s previous meetings with Stoke heroes from Stanley Matthews to Mark Stein.

When Michael O’Neill threw on James McClean and Jack Clarke to rescue a 3-3 draw, they wondered: “Why weren’t these two on from the start?”

And when referee Matt Donohue marched back a defensive wall what seemed more than 10 yards for a late McClean free-kick, there came the question: “Where’s he taking them, Meadowhall?”

They were a hit and Goodwin’s post-match photo from the New York Stadium got a lot of appreciation from the Potteries.

He said: “Thanks for that guys. Millers and Potters fans – hope you enjoyed it. Sorry we couldn’t get to all the messages, there were so many! Here’s me, Les and John Breckin saying hello!”

The replies flooded in.

James O’Hara said: “This was brilliant tonight, like walking into a pub and finding three blokes taking about football. All our family enjoyed this, wonderful.”

Adam Boulton said: “I think you have got an extra 15,000 fans after tonight.”

Pete O’Connell said: “Absolutely superb fellas. Clearly love your football and your team but whilst being able to be fair to the opposition.”

Alastair Padley said: “Without doubt the best ‘away’ commentators in the Championship. Fair, accurate and above all unbiased. Keep up the the great work and good luck for the rest of the season.”

Tim Gallimore said: “A top team! Made the lack of supporters that bit more bearable. Thank you for making us so welcome and getting us involved. Some funny lines too. Where’s he taking them. Meadowhall? Lovely stuff and good luck to The Millers for the rest of the season.”

Steve Knowles said: “Absolutely brilliant commentary gents, how all commentaries should be. Perfect balance of game action, facts, humour and correct amount of bias. Completely opposite to the Blackburn comms last week.”





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