Jeff's Dead Parrot sketch (January 7, 2006)
I went to feature Torquay back in 2006 when they qualified for the third round of the FA Cup. I interviewed chairman Mike Bateson at his home in Newton Abbott. Bateson was a collector of macaws, the large South American parrots that you'd normally find at home in the Amazon. We conducted our interview in his walk-in cage full of macaws. It was quite amusing listening to him talk about Torquay's prospects whilst these giant parrots climbed across his shoulders. When the feature finished they cut back to Jeff in the studio who launched into the full version of Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch, to the astonishment of the rest of the panel.
Paul Merson being caught out eating (September 15, 2012)
Not an unusual occurrence but on this occasion Jeff had thrown to a phone report so Merse took the time out to enjoy his food but just as he did there was a goal in his game. The phone report finished more quickly than he would have liked and Merse was frantically trying to swallow his food before Jeff came to him. He took one final gulp before speaking but the game was up.
Kammy on Reading's ghost goal v Watford (September 20, 2008)
On a sunny day at Watford Kammy decided to wear a pair of sunglasses which covered half his face. This just happened to be the day Reading scored the 'goal that never was' when Stuart Attwell and his assistants awarded them a goal that should never have been given, it wasn't even close to crossing the line. Kammy tried to explain it in a pair of sunglasses that made him look like a blind man. He succeeded only in muddying some already cloudy waters. "Thanks for clearing that up," said Jeff.
Kammy missing the sending off at Portsmouth (April 3, 2008)
When Antony Vanden Borre was sent off for Portsmouth our assistant producers watching the Premier League games on a bank of screens back at Sky's studios buzzed through to the producer to tell Jeff to go to Kammy for a report on the red card. Only Kammy hadn't seen it. In his defence it had been raining hard at Fratton Park so maybe there was a bit of water in his eyes. As confusion reigned in the studio, with our producer asking his staff if they'd got it right, Kammy admitted he had seen Vanden Borre leave the field. He just presumed it was a substitution!
Troy Deeney's last minute goal for Watford May 12, 2013
My own favourite personal memory working for Soccer Saturday has to be Troy Deeney's last minute goal for Watford in the play-offs against Leicester last season. It was an incredible moment. When Leicester were awarded the controversial penalty that would have taken them through to Wembley emotions were running high so I was naturally quite excited when Jeff threw to me to describe Antony Knockaert's spot kick. I thought that was dramatic enough, so when the subsequent events unfolded in front of me it all got a bit too much to cope with! The only regret was that I didn't actually get to see the action on the pitch, I had to watch it all on a tiny screen below the camera with my back to goal.
Johnny's new book
Saturday Afternoon Fever: A Year On The Road For Soccer Saturday is a collection of some of my favourite stories from the time spent I have spent travelling around the country producing features for Soccer Saturday.