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Roker Rapport Podcast Special: From Roker with Love - A Broadcasting Journey with Mark Saggers!

Well Lads and Lasses… what started out life as a mere Sunderland AFC v Cambridge Utd preview became something else entirely, as our Chris Wynn was joined for a couple of hours on Thursday night by a legend of broadcasting, Mark Saggers, to go over not only his love for Cambridge Utd, but his surprising family ties to Sunderland AFC - as well as his 40 years in the business of sports broadcasting and journalism… It’s an epic!

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What’s the crack?

  • Where do we begin? Saggers let’s us in on his family history and his links to Sunderland as a club and a city, including his first visit to Roker Park in the 1960’s!
  • Chris gets his deep-dive fix as Mark details his amazing journey through the ever changing world of broadcasting… from Muhammad Ali to Jimmy Carter, from Terry Wogan to Stan Collymore, from covering the Olympic games to the World Cup (and the occasional horse race) Saggers has seen a lot. What moments stand out so far in his long career?
  • His love of sport in general - particularly football and cricket - and his experiences at Cambridge Utd with the likes of Chris Turner, Gary Johnson, John Beck and many more... as well as watching a certain Lee Johnson grow up;
  • The lessons he learned from legends of broadcasting at the BBC, and many stories from a time when journalists were a very real conduit between fans and their clubs;
  • The birth of Sky and Sky Sports - Saggers tells us of the years of rogue broadcasting, the occasional almost accidental interview and the pursuit of the story - as Sky and Rupert Murdoch changed the face of sports and news broadcasting in the UK and across the world;
  • His time at Talksport and the insanity of the era, as the lads just took what they could get and ran with it - often with hilarious results;
  • His relationship with former England Manager Terry Venables; having to take Tel to the Ritz in the build up to Euro 96 and securing the exclusive interview ahead of his then rivals at the BBC and ITV.
  • Saggers talks about gambling harm and recovery, and his work with Betknowmore UK on a series of Podcasts highlighting his struggles and the struggles of others;
  • If you’re rushing for time ahead of the match and want to jump into the preview ahead of the match between Sunderland and Cambridge - jump ahead to around 1:23:00 - listen to a few insights on how the U’s are doing this season under Mark Bonner, and when you get the chance… come back and listen to the rest of the tale!
  • Chris and Mark wax lyrical about League One and the rest of the English game. Where is elite football headed? Does Saggers approve of the direction it’s taken and may take in the future? Will the almost universally despised ‘Super League’ rear it’s head again in some form or another?
  • Mark tells us about his new venture on Talk TV as he launches a brand new show - The Sunday Night Club - which starts May 1st; what issues in sport does he aim to highlight as he moves forward to another chapter in his career?
  • Eight days to save Sunderland’s season - does Saggers think we can do it?
  • All this and so much more. A pretty wild ride through many different eras from a man who may well have seen it all… Enjoy!

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