Interview: Dave Kidd

Dave Kidd is the chief sports writer for The Sun and a huge Fulham fan. Daniel Smith caught up with Dave to learn a bit more about his story of following the Whites and to get a Journalists perspective on supporting a club…

DS Hi Dave, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Let’s start off with supporting Fulham. One way or another Cottage calls us, it must be fate. How did your story of supporting the Whites begin?

DK – I’m from Essex so they’re not my local team but my uncle, also from Essex, worshipped Johnny Haynes as a child and always went to the Cottage. He took me there aged seven and it never really occurred to me that Fulham wouldn’t be my team.

DS Who gets the nod in your favourite ever Fulham eleven, include a bench and manager if you like?

DK – I am only including those players I’ve seen play for Fulham, so from 1981 onwards. I always struggle with a left-back, so I am including Micky Adams, who was an excellent left-back in his youth, to represent what the 1996-97 team meant to us.

Schwarzer, Finnan, Coleman, Gale, Adams, Malbranque, Murphy, Dembele, Dempsey, Saha, G Davies.

Subs: Van der Sar, Hangeland, P Parker, Collins, Houghton, Boa Morte, McBride,

Manager: Hodgson

DS Do you have a standout match that is special to you?

DK – Obviously the Juventus match but it was also special to be at the promotion-clinching 0-0 draw at Mansfield, though I’d have preferred to have been at Carlisle a few days earlier.

DS How about a special goal?

DK – Again, Dempsey v Juve is obvious. Other special ones I witnessed were Kasami v Palace and the Wardrobe v Man United.

DS Did you always want to be a Sports Journalist?

DK – From the age of eleven it always seemed to be a thing I could do that would seem less like actual work than most jobs.

DS What’s the biggest sports event you’ve ever reported on and/or broken?

DK – I’ve covered four World Cups and three Olympics. The 2005 Ashes was probably the best thing I’ve been at. Joshua-Klitschko this year was magnificent. As for breaking stories, I played a part in getting Hodgson for England, which was decent. An interview with Danny Rose was a good recent one. He turned out to be in a chatty mood. 

DS If you could go back in time and choose one Fulham match that you could be the allocated Journo to do the report on, which would it be and why?

DK – I guess the FA Cup semi-final with Birmingham in 1975. 

DS Here’s a little challenge for you. Can you give us the opening paragraph as if you were actually doing the write up. The event has just happened, over to you…

DK – So with Bobby Moore heading back down Wembley Way towards his fantastical old playground, who would bet against Fulham for the FA Cup?

DS From my experience regardless of how good or bad Fulham are doing, we seem to be a club that other supporters either laugh in shock that you support Fulham and/or take the piss out of. Do you experience much banter in the media world from colleagues?

DK – I don’t agree with you here. Everyone seems to have a lot of affection for the club and the ground. We seem to be a lot of people’s second team. In many ways, I wish we were more disliked. 

DS If, and I say if, with a lot of hope that it never happens. But ‘IF’ Fulham ever go down and down until they reach the depths of a club like a Leyton Orient would/could you abuse your position in the media world to get other supporters on side and to put pressure on whoever might be at fault for that demise? I don’t name names because this hypothetical question could be suitable at any time in the future, 20, 30 years perhaps.

DK – I’d do whatever I could, heaven forbid. I wrote a fair bit about Orient, I’m sure I’d end up writing more if Fulham ever plumbed such depths. 

DS Following on from the last question I suppose it’s the best time to ask what has been the worst period supporting the Whites for you personally?

DK -Well 1986-1996 were pretty awful. Playing at QPR and thinking we’d never go back home was worrying. But during the lunacy of the Felix Magath era, it really did feel as though we were losing the essence of the club.

DS Do you ever get to games or does work prevent that?

DK – Yes they only make me work one weekend day or another. I tend to get to around 10-12 matches per season, usually with my 12-year-old son who has become a big fan the last couple of years.

DS I bet when you are reporting on other matches/sports and Fulham are playing that you have an earphone in listening to Jim & Jamie? If not, I bet now you’re thinking “hmmm, where did I put my earphones?”

DK – If it’s an afternoon game, I tend to be checking Twitter too much. Though I’m never sure how neutral the club Twitter feed is! Evening matches, it’s too hectic but there’s always a faint feeling of dread knowing we’re playing.

DS I suppose you’ve experienced many Stadiums around the world. Ever come across a Stadium more unique than the Cottage?

DK – One of the first things I learned in journalism is that you can’t qualify the word ‘unique’. Something is either unique or it isn’t. It can’t be ‘more unique’ or ‘quite unique’ or ‘very unique’. Craven Cottage is definitely unique. It’s also the most charming stadium I’ve ever been to. Sorry to be pedantic there.

DS Since we were in the Europa League have you noticed more interest in the competition now that big English clubs are taking part. In most cases through failure to qualify/progress in the Champions League. Does this annoy you?

DK – Yes I don’t like the format of the Europa, with clubs parachuting in. I did feel we got a lot of good coverage during that epic run in 2010. It certainly means more to a club like Fulham or Boro than it did to Manchester United last season.

DS As you’re successful in your line of work I presume that you are assigned the big events. Have you ever asked to cover a Fulham match instead?

DK – Occasionally, if it’s within reason. I’d struggle to miss a Champions League Final for Fulham in a Checkatrade Trophy match for instance.

DS Where do you see Fulham in 3 years time?

DK – I’m not a great optimist when it comes to Fulham but if Jokanovic stays I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility that we could be back in the Premier League within the next two seasons. 

DS Finally, pie or pasty – Which filling?

DK – A cheeky steak and kidney…