European Football Weekends trouser prestigious prize
We are not ones to blow our own trumpet here at European Football Weekends*. *We are. But last week saw the inaugural NOPA awards take place in London village. It was the best award ceremony I'd ever been to - in Hoxton, and was designed to acknowledge the cream of football blogging and podcasts. And EFW. Oh, and we don't like to talk about it, obviously, but it was all for charity. So dig deep this Christmas time and donate what you can to DSActive.
European Football Weekends was nominated in three categories; the best contribution to a blog, best blog and the people's choice award. It was hard to keep a straight face for the first of those, because I was up against Sid Lowe from The Guardian. Hardly fair sides. As it happened Iain Macintosh walked away with that prize for his splendid contribution to In Bed With Maradona.
The night was hosted by Welsh wizard Tim Morgan. I don't belong to the school of thought that labels the Welsh lazy, because they don't cross their i's and dot their t's in their language - which is full of ll's. Morgan was actually the perfect host, shoe-horning in jokes, better than that one, willy nilly throughout the evening.
The real stars of the show though were the lads from the Football Ramble and Barry Glendenning from The Guardian. They waged a (phoney) war on each other all night. Glendenning waltzed up to the stage flicking v's at the Ramblers as he collected the award for best football podcast, and moved the microphone over to their side of the stage to mock and milk them for all he was worth. He was to pay for that later as the Football Ramble collected the people's choice award, "the people have spoken" said Lukey Moore as Barry tucked into his humble pie.
As well as filling up on free beer and food, it was a great opportunity to put a face to all those people I spend talking to on Twitter and perusing their respective websites. Michael from Zonal Marking, Kieran (Swiss Ramble), David (The Seventy Two), James Appell, Magic Spongers, The Gib Football Show, The Equaliser, Two Footed Tackle, Two Hundred Percent, Tim Hill, Girl that loves the Gunners, Ubecha blog. Hell, even Clive Tyldesley took time out from discussing that night in Barcelona to put in a show.
You could have knocked me down with a feather when EFW received a huge cheer upon being read out amongst the nominees for the best blog award. Barry Glendenning then proceeded to bring the house down with a few funnies, opened the envelope in the style of Sepp Blatter, and uttered the words "And the winner is Danny Last and European Football Weekends" - just how I dreamt it. I rocked back in my chair, gulped down a bit more red wine, shuffled up to the stage and mumbled something or other about Qatar before retaking my seat.
The rest of the night was a drunken blur, obviously.
There's so many people to thank; Ana who is my long suffering wife, Stuart Fuller, Big Deaks, Cynical Dave, Andy Hudson, Dan Richardson, Nick Ames, Ulas Gürsat, Lewes FC, Michael Hudson, Garreth Cummins of the FSF, the lads at the Guardian and so many more. And to you the reader, you are lovelier than lovely.
For the record, the full list of awards were as follows:
- Best Young Blogger – Sian Ranscombe for From A Girl Who Loves the Gunners
- Socrates Award – Ian King for Two Hundred Percent
- Best New Blog – Michael Cox for Zonal Marking
- Best Contributor to Blog or Podcast – Ian McIntosh for In Bed With Maradona
- Best Podcast – The Football Weekly
- Best Blog – Danny Last & European Football Weekends
- Peoples Choice award – The Football Ramble