Date: 6th April 2009 at 12:28am
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To celebrate the release of Jeff Stelling‘s new book, Jellyman Throws A Wobbly, Vital Hartlepool caught up with Hartlepool’s most famous supporter to get his views on all things football.

In this multi-part interview we discuss his new book, Soccer Saturday, Countdown, the climax of the Premier League season and, of course, Pools.

Today we talk to about Jeff’s new book.

Vital Hartlepool: Firstly, what’s your new book about?

Jeff Stelling: It’s an inside look at Soccer Saturday. What goes on behind the scenes, what goes out on the air. It’s developed into a bit more than that and it’s a little bit biographical but the idea is it’s meant to be fun.

Hopefully it’s got a good few laughs in there. Basically Soccer Saturday packaged in a book.

VH: Where did the idea come from?

JS: To be honest, the publisher approached me. The company have done a lot of books with the likes of Alan Brazil and they thought this one would be a good idea.

VH: The name of the book, where did that come from?

JS: Well, Jellyman’s Thrown a Wobbly was one of the catchphrases we used on Soccer Saturday. There was a player called Gareth Jellyman, who at the time was at Mansfield Town, and I just thought wouldn’t it be great if he was sent off and I can say ‘hope he hasn’t thrown a wobbly’.

Then, low and behold, one day in the 90th minute of a game he did. It was the first time in career so in the flood of full time results I just had to get it in. I think it’s probably my favourite line I’ve used on the show.

VH: Any other favourites you’ve come up with?

JS: There’s been lots and lots, one of the first ones I used was when Total Network Solutions were playing in the Welsh league and I’d say ‘They’ll be dancing in the streets of Total Network Solutions’ was a one I used for quite a long time, that one was quite nice.

Another was when Kenny Deuchar was playing up in Scotland for Gretna, he was a qualified doctor so it was always ‘The Good Doctor’ whenever he got a mention. Another was Kevin Nolan, if he ever scores his sisters will be pleased.

VH: Your knowledge seems encyclopaedic at times, how do seem to have facts for every single club that’s playing?

JS: Well, you can never know more than a football fan knows about his own club and inevitably I do get things wrong and they’re quick to tell me.

I just try to do as much research as I can, I basically spend all week with my head inside the sports pages and on the websites. Particularly on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday mornings.

Just trying to make sure the basic stats and facts and figures are right and also looking out for something a bit different.

The one thing you know with football is that if you get something wrong, people quickly tell you it’s wrong.

Click here to read part 2 of our exclusive interview.

Click here to win copies of Jeff’s new book

Click Here for Jeff Stelling Week


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