Winning awards, Simon Rusk’s workrate, promotion at Bradford and THAT chant from the Gainsborough fans! Departing Radio Lincolnshire commentator Scott Dalton reflects on the past 20 years at Boston United

Outgoing BBC Radio Lincolnshire commentator Scott Dalton, he will now be covering
Outgoing BBC Radio Lincolnshire commentator Scott Dalton, he will now be covering

After almost 20 years of covering Boston United, BBC Radio Lincolnshire commentator Scott Dalton put his mic down at York Street for the last time today.

The 37-year-old will begin his new role as the station’s Breakfast Show host from Monday morning.

Scott Dalton.

Scott Dalton.

Here, the larger-than-life Bostonian relives his favourite Pilgrims memories...

YOUR FOOTBALL DAYS ARE BEHIND YOU. YOU WILL NO LONGER BE COMMENTATING ON BOSTON UNITED, HOW DOES THAT FEEL?

“It will be a huge miss. I could carry on doing it, but with doing the Breakfast Show five days a week it’s just too much.

“There’s a good chance I’ll be on the terraces for many matches, watching them as a fan again. The good thing about that is that I’ll be able to leave before the end if it’s rubbish.

“I might even be able to have a pint before a game, which is something I’ve never managed before.

“I’ll still be very much involved. I’ve seen everything in the years I’ve covered Boston. I’ve had some fantastic times and some awful times.”

SO, IF THE ALARM IS NOW GOING OFF AT 4AM, WILL YOU STILL BE ON THE TERRACES FOR A TUESDAY NIGHT MATCH?

“I’ll probably go to bed to be honest. It will have to be a really big game to stop me going to bed at 9pm.

“It would have to be a big FA Cup game or a league decider to keep me from my bed.”

YOU’VE COVERED BOSTON UNITED FOR THE RADIO AND LOCAL NEWSPAPERS FOR 19 YEARS NOW. WHAT’S BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE GAME?

“I think the Bradford Park Avenue game, where Boston won promotion to the Blue Square Bet North, stands out for me, probably more so than the promotion to the Football League at Hayes.

“The Hayes day was fantastic but it got tarnished afterwards with the court case.

“We won an award (Sony Bronze) for the coverage at Hayes, which was fantastic as well. But I think the Bradford game, because of what had happened, the double demotion and because the club had almost gone under, just felt a bigger deal.

“Even though getting into the Football League was a bigger deal for the club, everything seemed to come togethrer just right at Bradford.

“It was fantastic and I was so pleased for (chairman) David Newton and everyone for all the work they’d done.”

WHO WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PERSON TO INTERVIEW?

“Steve Evans (controversial former manager) is the obvious one. We had a few run-ins which people seemed to enjoy.

“I’ve only seen Steve once since he left the club. I saw him at (former Lincoln City manager) Keith Alexander’s funeral and he was very pleasant.

“We had some entertaining times. He was a very interesting character, and remains that.

“We had some run-ins on the radio and people still mention them to me.”

YOU MEMORABLY ASKED EVANS’ REPLACEMENT NEIL THOMPSON WHETHER HE WAS GOING TO RESIGN FIVE TIMES DURING ONE INTERVIEW,

WERE YOU TRYING TO BE JEREMY PAXMAN?

“Sometimes you do have to ask people if they’re going to resign, it’s part of the job.

“It’s a tricky one, but if you do it respectfully, when they’re in a bad run, it’s not too bad.

“Sometimes I feel managers appreciate the opportunity to put their points across, it gives them a good platform to say ‘I’m going nowhere’.

“It’s a tough conversation to have, but you’re letting the fans down if you don’t ask that question.”

IS IT TOUGHER TO ASK THAT QUESTION TO SOMEONE YOU RESPECT AND BELIEVE ARE DOING THE RIGHT THINGS, EVEN IF THE RESULTS ARE POOR?

“Yes. You can look at Jason Lee earlier this season.

“Clearly a lot of fans wanted him out. At Oxford, they had just lost four in a row, and I asked him his thoughts on fans suggesting he shouldn’t have the job.

“With someone like Jason, everyone liked him, respected him and wanted him to do well.

“But he didn’t mind me asking. If the question is done in a more aggresive or personal way they have every right to have an issue with it.

“He was perfectly professional and hopefully I was too.”

WHO’S THE BEST PLAYER YOU’VE EVER SEEN AT BOSTON UNITED?

“I think some that are my favourites weren’t neccesarily the best technically.

“I always thought Simon Rusk was fantastic because of the effort he gave, and he did a brilliant job. He always did very honest interviews as well, which was a bonus for us.

“Daryl Clare, because of his goals, was fantastic, and he was also a big character.

“Bazza (Paul Bastock), was a huge character and I always remember a famous moment when Bazza banged his head on the post at Torquay and got that big, brown sewelling on his head.

“I do remember that we were commentating on that game and I knew that his wife Ann listens in.

“Suddenly, it dawned on me that she was listening and knew Bazza was on the ground and it looked quite bad.

“I think I said something like ‘don’t worry Ann, he’s alright’ on air.

“I bumped into her a few days later and she told me she was grateful I’d said something as she was everso worried.

“From the last few seasons, I’ve been a huge Marc Newesham fan. I think he’s fantastic.”

AS A BOSTON FAN, HAS IT BEEN HARD TO REMAIN NEUTRAL WHEN COMMENTATING ON UNITED VERSUS LINCOLN MATCHES, AND OTHER DERBIES?

“It’s different with us as we’re quite clear we’re a radio station for Lincolnshire and we support all our teams.

“But when we’ve had those Boston-Lincoln head to heads it can feel tough. I think I’ve probably mellowed with age.

“Lincoln scored a great goal at Boston once and I hope I did that goal justice, although it is quite tricky.

“It’s different when we’re playing other teams. People listen to us because they are Boston fans and we are too. The whole idea is that we’re bringing it to you on behalf of your team - whether it’s Boston, Lincoln or Gainsborough.”

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST BLUNDER YOU’VE EVER DONE ON AIR?

“You get things wrong like the scorer, but you try to correct it as soon as possible. It’s not always easy to see who’s scored if they’re in a pack and you’re at the other end of the pitch.

“I did once call (current manager) Dennis Greene, Graham, just after Graham Drury had left.

“And in commentary which was off air, I once got Gloucester and Worcester mixed up.. twice.”

IF YOU COULD TURN UP AT ONE GAME - NOT KNOWING THE OUTCOME - AND DO IT ALL AGAIN, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

“The build up to Hayes was incredible. But then, in hindsight, I think the Bradford game meant more.

“One of my favourite commentaries was actually one where Boston didn’t win. It was the play-off semi-final here against Guiseley when Boston lost on penalties. It was such a good game that, for entertainment purposes, it was fantastic.

“But the Hayes build up was something else... That’s what any football fan will want to go through, that week. On the Tuesday night at Morecambe they got the draw which set it up for the final game of the season.

“That whole week and the build-up was just fantastic and one of the best things you can experience.We stopped with the team at the hotel the night before and myself and Michael (Hortin, Radio Lincolnshire sports editor) were asked by Steve Evans to do a quiz for the players to help relax them. We had a Boston round - and they were rubbish. They didn’t know anything.

“Then there was what happened afterwards - the civic parade and lap of honour at the ground. It was just a fantastic week, one I’ll never forget.”

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GROUND TO VISIT?

“There’s some, when we’ve been round Blue Square North and UniBond, you prefer to go to because the others are quite basic.

“However, We went to Swnasea once and at their old ground (the Vetch Field) we had to climb up this precarious ladder to get into a gantry.

“We had to tie all the equipment in bags and winch them up. We clambered up this ladder, which was high up. It was almost like an assault course to get up there.

“That was bizarre.”

THE GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY FANS HAVE A SONG ABOUT YOU, WHICH INVOLVES A RATHER NASTY NAME WE WON’T REPEAT. WILL YOU MISS THAT?

“The Gainsborough fans are funny with their chanting. Sadly, I’ve never heard it.

“Once you have your earphones on you can’t hear what the crowd are saying. I’m quite entertained by it to be honest. I’ll take it as a backhanded compliment.

“It’s all a bit of fun and most fans don’t take it too seriously. I see quite a lot of Lincoln fans and most people just want to have a laugh and joke.”

WHAT MEMORIES OF YOUR TIME COVERING UNITED WILL YOU TAKE WITH YOU?

“Covering Boston has been fantastic. It’s great to get as close as you can to people at the club, as you can at this level.

“I think it gives you more sympathy with the managers because you can see close up what they’re trying to do sometimes, the reason why they did certain things, although the fans disagree.

“Sometimes you find out what’s going on behind closed doors and I do think it’s funny when people have tried to tell Jason Lee he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

“At the end of the day, he’s played in the Premier League and he knows more about football than most people ever will.

“Fans are quite right to tell people if they don’t think they should be manager, they pay etc and it’s their right. But if you’re abusive to someone like Jason Lee and tell him they don’t know about football, it’s just silly.

“He does know about football, but that doesn’t neccessarily mean he’ll be a good manager.

“Sometimes I think people deserve more respect, but saying that, I think Boston were right to part company with him when they did.

“Sometimes, we see what the managers are going trhough at a difficult time. You speak to them and realise how it can affect them or their family.”