Douglas Lima is a Brazilian MMA fighter, based in Georgia, USA. He is Bellator's Welterweight Champion and fights Gegard Mousasi for the vacant Middleweight title early Friday morning (UK time) on Sky Sports.
Gegard Mousasi is a five-time mixed martial arts champion across different organisations.
He goes up against Douglas Lima this Thursday night in Connecticut for the vacant Bellator Middleweight Title.
The show is broadcast live in the UK on Sky Sports in the early hours of Friday morning.
Franny Benali played for Southampton Football Club between 1998 and 2004, making 389 appearances for the club - and scored one goal! A Premier League icon.
He grew up a Southampton fan and remains one today. He has completed formidable tests of endurance for the club's foundation and other charities.
Franny currently works as an analyst for Sky Sports and other media outlets and works as a keynote speaker.
He can be reached at http://www.francisbenali.com/
Mark, former UFC fighter and current MMA coach (based in Gloucester, England) previews Khabib Nurmagomedov's Lightweight Title defence against Justin Gaethje.
Preview video can be seen on Sky Sports Youtube page along with other MMA content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7-pYEPOwPU
Frank Smith rise from 'tea boy' at 16 to CEO of Matchroom Boxing Global is, for me, one of the most inspiring stories in British boxing - and business.
He's still only 28.
Frank's rise has coincided with Matchroom's stratospheric acceleration in boxing promotion over the past decade - the company (even in the pandemic) organises boxing shows around the world.
Here, we have a chat about Frank and the business' story. And the importance of hard work and repetition to achievement.
Ash Loveridge is the former sports editor of the Stroud News and Journal and has covered sport in Gloucestershire for more than two decades.
In particular, he's long covered football team Forest Green Rovers.
He can currently be heard on BBC Gloucestershire commentating on FGR's games and his match reports for the Press Association are published across national press and online, including Sky Sports.
You can connect with Ash on Twitter: @AshLoveridge10
Jon Pitman runs the boxing gym, The Fight Factory in Gloucester, England.
Jon is the long-time trainer of Commonwealth and British Super Lightweight Champion Riiddy Riiddy Riival (aka Akeem Ennis-Brown).
Jon also trains a plethora of amateur and professional boxers and runs boxing-based fitness classes for members of the public of all ages.
Remembering the life and times of Charles L. (Sonny) Liston, former World Heavyweight Champion with former Cruiserweight World Champion Johnny Nelson.
Also talk about how Johnny (and his doctors) believe he's recovering from Covd-19 - despite negative test results - and how unwell he has felt with it.
Talk about Johnny's new boxing-based fitness programme too, 'Get On It.' More details: https://getonit.johnnynelson.co.uk/sales-page1599225225113
Born Cristiane Justino Venâncio, but known professionally as Cris 'Cyborg'.
The Brazilian fighter has world world titles across four MMA organisations, including The UFC and is currently Bellator's Featherweight Champion.
We talk up about her upcoming fight with Arlene Blencowe (live on Sky Sports in The UK) and longer term plans to try professional boxing - possibly against Ireland's two-weight World Champ Katie Taylor.
Cath Bishop is a three-time Olympian, a World Champion and Olympic silver medalist in rowing.
She's also worked as a diplomat, and a coach and a consultant. She teaches on Executive Education programmes at the Judge Business School, Cambridge University.
Here we discuss Cath's new book: The Long Win: The search for a better way to succeed.
MVP is a professional English MMA fighter with a record of 17-1. He has also competed in Boxing and Kickboxing.
He headlines the first ever major MMA event this week to take place in France, taking on Scotland's Ross Houston.
We also follow up on a conversation we had on Black Lives Matter in the summer and explore Michael's sense that maybe the push for equality has lost momentum.
This interview was recorded initially (as a video) for Sky Sports' Youtube and lots more MMA interviews like this are available there.
Paul Godfrey is a director, Club Secretary and historian of Cheltenham Town Football Club.
Here we talk about the financial pressures on the club and others in the lower leagues with the ongoing ban on supporters attending matches.
Tom McDermott covers Manchester United for newspapers, online and has his own podcast.
For more information on Tom's work check out of his Twitter account - @MrTomMcDermott.
Off the back of Manchester United's 6-1 home loss to Tottenham, we discuss - on Deadline Day - whether transfer signings are the answer or whether deeper holistic and structural work needs to be done to restore the club to one that contends for Premier League titles.
Dr Ranulf Crooke is a GP in Gloucestershire and co-founder of the Cotswold Optimal Health Clinic in Cheltenham.
Craig Paterson is a PHD researcher and Physiologist, a Sports Science expert, at The University of Gloucestershire.
Here the Ran and Craig put me through a VO2 Max test and metabolite analysis and we discuss the importance of cardiovascular health
- in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also all-round well-being and longevity.
James Gallagher is an Irish MMA fighter with a 10-1 record of his fight Saturday night in Milan.
I shared this interview here, that I recently conducted for Sky Sports, as felt it may help people struggling with uncertainty at this time.
This is the fourth time James has been slated to fight his opponent - Sunderland's Cal Ellenor - and offers some powerful insight into how he'd adapted mentally to cope with uncertainty and control the controllable both before and since the pandemic began.
Gareth A Davies is a British sports journalist for the Daily Telegraph and several international broadcasters, covering boxing and MMA.
Here I catch up with him - for Sky Sports - after Paul Daley, previous guest on the podcast, fails to make weight and is taken to hospital in Italy.
Gareth was live on the spot in Milan and we spoke about the dangers of weight cutting and the broader issues facing boxing and MMA in the pandemic era (where fans aren't allowed into events).
You can follow Gareth and his journalism on Twitter @GarethADaviesDT
Dr Mark Draper - my father - is a GP in the Cotswolds.
He was previously an an anaesthetist and has worked in nutrition with a focus on micro-nutrition and trace elements like selenium and zinc.
Here we discuss antibody research in the British Medical Journal that indicates more Europeans may have been exposed to coronavirus than was previously thought.
And we discuss ways to optimise our immune systems to stave off not only covid but regular seasonal coughs and colds. On the note we discuss a new supplement from Cytoplan.co.uk, Immune Complete. (10% off supplements from the company with the code DRAPER10).
Ryan Lamb retired from playing pro rugby in the spring after a distinguished career for Gloucester, London Irish, Northampton, Leicester Tigers, Worcester, La Rochelle and Scarlets.
He also earned international recognition for England Saxons.
He's now back living in Gloucestershire (Cheltenham) with his family and is beginning his coaching career at Hartpury College.
Ryan talks about his fears for professional rugby amid the pandemic that's resulted in fans not being allowed into games.
Fabian Edwards is an undefeated MMA fighter from Birmingham, UK who currently competes in Bellator.
His brother, Leon competes in the UFC.
He's due to fight Costello van Steenis in Milan, Italy on Saturday September 26.
Ben Markall was a highly courted youth footballer and at the age of 13 moved from Cheltenham Town to then-Premier-League Stoke City.
But as his stellar rise stalled and when Ben returned to the lower leagues with Burton, his football career fell by the wayside as a gambling addiction took hold.
Ben, 24, is now preparing to play for Bracknell Town as a semi pro, but his focus is working to help guide and mentor young players away from the pitfalls of addiction and help them cope with the mental strain of 'trying to make it.'
You can reach him on Twitter: @BenMarkall
Tris is a longtime journalist and a former editor of Boxing News. He's also boxing Author with a new book Damage out next year.
Tris reflects on the return of the sport in the UK amid the pandemic, the passing of former World Champion Alan Minter and the importance of structure - and napping.
Tris has a fantastic in-podcast of his own, Boxing Life Stories: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/boxing-life-stories/id1436759230
My brother, JJ Draper talking about the complexities of the modern music industry and the destructive effect of the pandemic on artists' ability to make a living.
JJ also had COVID-19 in February/March and talks about the post viral fatigue he's had since.
He's got a new song out too: https://open.spotify.com/album/5rIxCeDUks5RoqBRbu9iGR?si=vNiUpbv1TJurCwJY_MEnPw
Chat to Jon Palmer who covers Cheltenham Town FC and other clubs for Gloucestershire Live.
We chat about about the health of the professional and semi-professional sports scene in the county amid the pandemic.
Jon also lectures in sport journalism at the University of Gloucestershire and we touch on the logistics of getting students back on site.
Jamie is a graphic designer from Gloucestershire who nearly died in a horror car crash in 2018.
The experience fueled him with his friend, Chris Boulton, a photographer, to create Soul Kind magazine:
The pair traveled across the UK and the USA interviewing and photographing inspiring and insightful men and women to get a sense of how to make the most of life.
The magazine is out - please order via the website: https://www.soulkindpeople.co.uk/
Running through a Footballers In The Mind's Eye scenario with one of my best friends, Everton fan, Dan Kidd aka Pughie Wannabager.
The scenario was posted on my twitter - @eddraper81 - on August 24 if you want the visual reference.
People's contributions lead us on a mazy conversation about 90s footballers and teams.
Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte lost to Alexander Povetkin at the weekend.
Just a few thoughts here on why I still believe Dillian's life story and boxing success remains inspirational irrespective of the result.
Also a nod to a friend of the podcast Isaac Chamberlain's return to the ring after nearly two years out.
If you enjoy these style pods, please let me know - @eddraper81 on Twitter or @ed_draper81 on Instagram.
Ryan Bader is Bellator MMA's Light-heavyweight AND Heavyweight Champion.
He defends his light-heavy title on Saturday 3AM in the UK on Sky Sports Action & Sky Sports Mix.
Ryan was formerly an elite wrestler and and competed for Arizona State University.
Spencer - aka Master Knowledge online - is a former boxing, boxing trainer, promoter, historian and analyst.
He's also a motivational speaker.
He co-hosts a boxing podcast called The Fight is Right.
We worked together co-hosting Sky Sports' boxing podcast, Toe-2-Toe for nearly three years, 2014 to the end of 2016.
Below is a football scenario I posted on twitter - @eddraper81 - on July 30 2020. On this podcast I run through my social media friend's suggestion to the hypothetical. Please let me know if you enjoy this. I'm reviving it as a friend, who's a similar age to me, said it fired up his imagination thinking of current players and former stars.
Footballers In The Mind's Eye:
Picture a two-footed player?
Who'd you see?
For me, it's still David Ginola. But Mason Greenwood pops up in the brain a close second.
(listen to podcast for other suggestions to the scenario).
Josh Thomson was a longtime contender in the UFC and Bellator in mixed martial arts.
He was a lightweight champion in Strikeforce.
He's now an analyst and commentator and speaks here about his experiences at Bellator's comeback card (in the Bubble) at the Mohegan Sun Resort in Connecticut, USA.
As an amateur boxer, Anthony Fowler won Commonwealth Gold, World Championship bronze and competed at the Rio Olympics.
As a pro his record - at the time of recording - stands at 12-1. He's set to fight Adam Harper at the 'Matchroom Square Garden' on August 7 2020.
Outside of boxing, Anthony has a property business and promotes CBD Oil, which he credits for a huge boost in his well-being.
Riiddy Riidy Riival (birth name Akeem Ennis-Brown) goes for the British and Commonwealth Boxing titles on September 1 - broadcast free to air on IFL TV Youtube channel for UK viewers. It will be on ESPN in the USA.
Riidy is 24 and has an undefeated record of 13-0. You can follow him on Twitter @RiidyRiival
Scott has been the President of Bellator since 2014. Previously he founded and ran Strikeforce. He has a background in Taekwondo.
Bellator returns for its first show since the pandemic began this Friday night (Saturday AM) in the UK. And this is an interview with Scott for Sky Sports talking about the logistical complexities involved.
Nick is a youth football coach at Cheltenham Town and is head of Talent ID at the club. He is also a Bridge Football Academy Director, which works with young players who’ve been released from pro clubs and tries to earn them a second chance.
Former English Super Welterweight Champion Adam Harper, from Tewkesbury, who's returning to boxing after a 23-month layoff.
Adam's brain scans were reviewed and he's been allowed to box again. He takes on former Commonwealth amateur champion Anthony Fowler live
on Sky Sports on August 8th.
James Golden has 20 years experience in the fitness business, including training professional athletes and running his own gyms.
Now he has personal clients and mainly works out of Daylesford Organic Farm in the Cotswolds. His areas of specialism are in weight management and performance training.
James' website: www.thefitnesspro.co.uk
Jaydee is a national sports broadcaster in the UK, currently reporting for Sky Sports News and presenting Sky's NBA basketball coverage.
He helps communities in the Caribbean and Africa through his own philanthropic organization: https://thejaydeedyerfoundation.org.uk/about-us.
He's a passionate campaigner for equality and a public supporter of the global Black Lives Matter movement.
Like me, Jaydee's first TV job was in small-town America - Arizona, in his case.
Lianne has won 50 England caps, scoring 15 goals for her country. She's had a storied club career in football that so far has included time at Arsenal making her debut at 14), Chelsea, Espanyol, DC United and Juventus. She's also a Manchester United fan and we talk about her hero, Eric Cantona in this episode. Lianne was the first openly gay player in the England's Women team and has a strong advocate for equality for all - particularly in relation to sexuality and skin colour.
Tania specialises in Early Years Physical Development of children and Health and Wellbeing. She's the author of Learning through Movements. You can find out more about her work and upcoming publications at www.binspireduk.co.uk. In this conversation Tania shares her thoughts on how parents should approach the new challenge of becoming pseudo-teachers during the pandemic.
Michael competes in Bellator and has a 17-1 record at the time of the interview. He also has background in kick boxing and boxing and supports Manchester United in football.
Here we also talk about the Black Lives Matter movement and the quest for equality for all.
Lekan holds a degree in a Mechanical Engineering and a prospering career as a Software Test Analyst at Sky.
But in his spare time, he’s been working towards his dream of becoming a professional boxer and was on the verge of getting his license when the global pandemic put his plans on hold.
Lekan was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria before moving to Glasgow, Scotland at the age of 13. He talks candidly about the racism he’s faced and his thoughts on the surge in public support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Paul Godrey is Club Secretary of Cheltenham Town Football Club. He's also a historian of the club. Here we talk about the financial and logistical challenges of lockdown and Cheltenham's involvement in the impending League Two playoffs. Also discuss the feasibility of lower league football being played next season if the coronavirus pandemic still prevents fans from attending.
Dr Mark Draper - my father - is a GP in England and has been a medical doctor for 40+ years. He's also a qualified nutritionist and helps design supplements.
His keen area of focus are trace elements - particularly selenium, which he believes is detrimentally low in UK soil.
Here we talk about ways we can optimize our immune system at this time of a pandemic and in the future.
Dan Lawrence, @Perform365 on social media, has worked with a raft of elite athletes including boxers and NFL Players.
He's Head Of Performance for Matchroom Boxing working with fighters including John Ryder and Conor Benn.
Here we talk about the challenges of coaching boxers and everyday civilians remotely during lockdown. Talk about the importance of creating discipline around a daily routine during lockdown including switching off from devices and protecting sleep. Also, discuss whether the coranvirus crisis will spark a sustained interest in health and wellbeing in the UK public.
James Pope is a former headteacher, who's now working as a positive psychology coach with education professionals, the police, military and others
Here we talk about the philosophy of positive psychology and how taking a proactive approach to having good mental health can help us all perform well - in sport and life. That's opposed to the reactive approach of waiting until we have an issue or reach a breakdown point. A key focus is how we recover from past trauma and deal with memories that may be impeding us, consciously or subconsciously.
For more information: Innerarmour.org and InspiredEDucate.co.uk/inner-armoured.html. James is @popejames on Twitter.
NB I lost James for around 40 seconds, 21 minutes into the podcast, but we pick up the conversation from there so apologies for the clunky section.
Tony Bellew won a world title at cruiserweight. contended and light-heavyweight and twice beat David Haye at heavyweight.
Here he talks about his love of MMA and the potential for boxers and MMA fighters to compete against each other.
Paula was the 3rd British and 14th International Woman to Ski Full Distance from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole - a 1000 KM trek - and has completed an impressive list of other challenges.
She is also an expert and consultant in the field of adventure psychology.
Here we talk about how the concept of 'going knowingly into the unknown' can be useful in everyday life right now as we encounter the uncertainty brought on by the global pandemic.
To find out more about Paula and her work head to https://www.paulareid.com/
Throw back episode - interviewing actor Danny Dyer in my radio days in 2009.
Danny is now best known for acting in East Enders, but has also been in loads of films including cult classic Human Traffic.
Danny's from East London and supports local football club West Ham United.
Six months on from John’s contentious defeat in his world title loss to Callum Smith, catch up with him to see how he’s handling lockdown. Talk about homeschooling his daughter, trying to stay fit and fighting in empty arenas when boxing resumes.
An interview with former UFC referee John McCarthy who currently works as a host and analyst for Bellator.
It was recorded for Sky Sports (thanks to my employers for the use of the audio) ahead of UFC 249, which was the first big sports event to go ahead in the western world in weeks. Will this be a template for all sports going forward?
Talk about how that event could set a precedent for combat sports and the practical considerations for fighters seeking to cross over from MMA into boxing - or vice versa.
Johnny ( born Ivanson Ranny) Nelson is the longest reigning World Cruiserweight Champion of all time. He held the WBO title from 1999 to 2005. This after losing his first three professional fights. Johnny is now a presenter and analyst for Sky Sports. Here he provides an inspiring account of how the sport and his trainer, Brendan Ingle changed his life.
Enzo Maccarinelli held the WBO World Cruiser Title from 2006 to 2008 and is a former European Champion. He also contended at light heavyweight and remains determined to have a 50th and final pro fight.
Tris is the former editor of Boxing News and has covered the sport for print, online and broadcast media. He’s written several books on the sport and its stars. In particular, we discuss his book Road To Nowhere. Tris also competes in CrossFit.
Jon Palmer is a sports journalist for Gloucestershire Live and other outlets. He also teaches journalism at the University of Gloucestershire. Here we talk about the financial impact of the coronavirus lockdown on local sports clubs, small businesses and on students’ futures.
John has produced an e-book out called How To Survive a Pandemic. Here we talk about how we can all draw on the lessons of those who’ve survived extreme isolation in the past to remain healthy in body and mind during the coronavirus lockdown.
James Golden is a fitness and lifestyle coach with vast experience of working with athletes and non-athletes to achieve their bespoke goals. He’s found online under the moniker @aka_thefitnesspro. He’s also the father of four and interesting talk here about the positives - those of us not physically affected by coronavirus - we can take health wise around more sleep, rest and exercise.
Michael is Cheltenham Town football manager and a former Premier League player with Burnley. Here we talk about the effect of the coronavirus on players psyche ( isolation and uncertainty) and the financial impact on football. Apologies for connection quality at this time.
My father, Dr Mark Draper is a medical doctor (GP) in the UK and researcher into micro nutrition. Here we answer general questions ( from social media) about Coronavirus and discuss the importance of selenium in bolstering our immune systems.
Chris is one of my best and longest friends. But we usually just joke around so haven’t previously taken the time to explore a condition that really stretched him to his mental limits. Here we talk about his struggles with tinnitus and how mindfulness not medication helped him get a handle on the condition. We also talk about his current isolation due to Coronavirus - he lives on his own in Dubai and hadn’t spoke to anyone in person for 14 days.
Adam Harper has had a rollercoaster 18 months. In September 2018 he won an English title in his 10th professional fight and felt on the cusp of huge nights to come. But then a brain scan led to all plans being ripped up and Adam announced his retirement. Then his mother’s illness led to a review of all his career brain scans and opened up the chance of a comeback. It was set for April. But then the Coronavirus came...Apologies for audio issues, having to record remotely on phone during the Coronavirus crisis in the UK.
Trip down memory lane with fellow Manchester United fan and journalist who covers the club to this day - Tom McDermott. Looking at the 90s glory days and our favourite players of boyhood and beyond. Apologies for drop out midway thru - recording through phones due to Coronavirus.
My father, Dr Mark Draper has been a medical doctor 40 years and currently works as a GP in the Cotswolds. He’s also qualified in nutrition and has helped design supplements. Here we talk about what the medical service in the UK is experiencing during the Coronavirus outbreak, symptoms, boosting immunity, considerations for who does childcare and how we might know when ‘normal’ life can resume.
Chat with Paul and John about the financial picture facing lower league football clubs like Cheltenham Town FC in the current postponement of fixtures due to Coronavirus. John played for Cheltenham, Lincoln and Nottingham Forest too so offers a player’s perspective.
Sarah Townsend has been a freelance copywriter and editor for 20 years. She’s used that experience to write a book to guide people into the fundamentals of entering the freelance world and the psychological differences to being an employee. Interesting conversation on the process of dealing with uncertainty, which is pertinent to freelancers and, indeed, everyone affected by corona virus at the moment. More about Sarah’s book can be found here http://survivalskillsforfreelancers.com/.
Jon Palmer has covered Cheltenham Town Football Club for 20 years, including a spell working for the club. He’s also a journalism lecturer at The University of Gloucestershire. Cool conversation about lower league football and the evolution of journalism in the internet age.
Cheltenham-based singer song writer Vince Freeman has been a professional musician for 20 years. He’s had top 10 hits across Europe and starred on TV show The Voice. He’s also a tennis coach! Cool chat on the music industry, how tennis informed his career and how fatherhood changed his outlook to business.
Will Boyle is now Cheltenham’s longest serving outfield player - he’s been there just three years. Good catch up with Will who’s playing as an attacking centre half in Cheltenham’s brave and positive system. Also talk about the tricky aspect of planning a personal life in such an uncertain profession.
Cheltenham nurse Jen is co-founder of the Kambia District Foundation, a charity aimed at improving the health and education of children in the Kambia region of Sierra Leone. As part of this, they support a football team - Cheltenham Town FC. Thought provoking conversation about the toughness of life in the African country and the related mental resilience and ‘happiness’ of the residents.
Gloucester’s Johnny Melfah is a former British title contender who fought some legendary names in boxing including Herol Graham, Chris Eubank and Steve Collins. Despite his prestigious CV, Johnny had to work fulltime for much of his fighting career as a brick layer. Really candid look at the tough financial reality of the sport. Johnny’s a father of seven - four boys, three girls - and talks about the importance of teaching self defence to children.
Former Cheltenham Town and Bradford footballer turned property developer Shane Duff. Shane recently celebrated two years full time in property and has a multi millionaire project coming to the market in Cheltenham currently. He’s also the father of two children under the age of 3. Good chat on using the resilient psychology Shane developed in becoming a footballer to facing fears and calculating risk in his new career.
Mark Weir, ‘The Wizard’, from Gloucester, won world titles in Tae Kwon Do before moving on to mixed martial arts and playing an instrumental role in bringing the UFC to the UK 🇬🇧. Mark also fought in the WEC, PRIDE, Cage Rage and more. He’s a qualified engineer, but since retiring in 2014 ( aged 45) he’s focussed on coaching combat sports in Gloucester. Mark also talks about growing up in a Jamaican household in rural England in the 1970s.
Nick set up the Hollie Gazzard Trust In memory of his daughter who was murdered at the age of 20. The Trust is aimed at helping young people in numerous ways from reducing domestic abuse, teenage dating violence and knife crime. Nick is a former Cheltenham Town footballer and the club has adopted The Hollie Gazzard Trust as its official charity this season. On February 15 the club is hosting a special day to promote the Trust at the match versus Leyton Orient.
Sat down with Fitness expert James Golden and Anthony Astbury from The Wholeman Academy to talk about men’s health. Talking on a raft of topics including exercise, the importance of socialising, sleep, fatherhood, daylight work stress, anxiety, stepping away from digital devices and much more. We’re hosting an event this Saturday January 11, 9AM at Daylesford Organic Farm ( in the Cotswolds) to discuss these matters further in a relaxed setting. Tickets can be purchased on the Daylesford website.
Tim Treloar is a survival expert who teachers Outdoor Adventure at Hartpury College. He also teaches survival privately - @ttadventuresltd.com - and runs ultramarathons in extreme conditions in his spare time. Tim has also worked on TV shows with Bear Grylls.
Cheltenham resident Mark Hopkins played as offensive lineman for the Swindon Steelers, The Manchester Spartans, the GB Lions and several other teams as a pioneer of American football in the UK. He went onto coach with some distinction for the Bristol Aztecs among other roles. In 2007 Mark was inducted into the British Gridiron American Football Hall of fame. Also, a husband, father, grandfather and for 41 years worked as a bricklayer.
Jack Deaman is a former Wrexham, Birmingham City, Cheltenham Town, Salford City, Hereford United and Gloucester City player. Jack retired at 25 to pursue a business career with Gloucester company Nutrition X that supplies supplements to lots of sports clubs, including Premier League teams.
Run through people’s selections to the hypothetical sequence below - conversation housed on my Twitter @eddraper81
‘Striker pulls into the channel between centre half and full back, takes a touch and scoops the ⚽️ over the outrushing goalkeeper.
Who’d you see?
For me, Robbie Fowler.
Charlie co-writes and co-stars in This Country - a cult BBC mokumentary set in the Cotswolds in rural England. He plays Lee ‘Kurtan’ Mucklowe. He also loves football - big Fulham fan and played youth football for Cirencester Town!
Run through people’s suggestions on twitter (@eddraper81) for the following hypothetical: Footballers In the Mind's Eye 👁️
Player runs along the six yard line to meet a near post cross and scores past the goalkeeper with a glancing header.
Who'd you see?
For me, David Platt.
Loads of alternative suggestions run through from my twitter friends here - let me know if you enjoy it!
Chatting to my mate and fellow Sky Sports Presenter Pete Graves about football fandom. Pete’s a Newcastle United fan and has a passionate social media following of people devoted to the club. Is being a fan good for us though?
Spin off of popular hypotheticals posted on Twitter - running through football fans’s suggestions for the below scenario: Footballers in the mind’s eye 👁:
Player powers onto loose ball.
With first touch, bursts past an opponent and then unleashes a piledriver into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
Who’d you see?
Steven Gerrard, for me.
David Brear played 11 sports to county level and basketball to a high level. David is also a Norwich City FC season ticket holder. Here we talk about how sport has inspired his approach to being CEO of 11FS, a company going from strength to strength in the Fintech world. Lengthy chat on Michael Jordan as an exemplar in sport and business and styles of leadership in football, including Pep Guardiola’s.
Thoughts on a powerful and compelling night of boxing at the O2 arena. Made my commentary debut as Josh Taylor beat Regis Prograis in the main event to win the World Boxing Super Series Super Lightweight title & several other baubles.
Lucy Shepherd at 27 is a highly experienced adventurer, specialising in Arctic and mountainous conditions. She also leads expeditions to the Artic, which are open to members of the public. Next up she’s revisiting the Amazon jungle in Guyana on an unprecedented trek - last time she had a close encounter with a jaguar. @lucysheps is the handle to follow Lucy on social media.
Martin St Quinton has had a prolific and hugely successful business career, buying and selling more than 70 companies. Now, while still active in business, he is Chairman of Gloucester Rugby and The Cheltenham Racecourse. Cracking chat about sport, business and life.
Miles heads up the hugely successful Cheltenham business, SLG, which works with brands like Superdry & Zoella.
SLG was also headline sponsor for the inaugural Cheltenham Wellbeing Festival. A desire to keep staff well and happy, spurred Miles to create SLG's incredible new multimillon-pound office in the heart of Cheltenham - complete with tropical plants and bleachers!
Cracking conversation about how sport can help prepare people for business (rugby, hockey and football) and the dynamics of working with family members - in the office and on the sports field.
John Hudson- originally an RAF pilot - trains members of the UK 🇬🇧 military to survive in extreme situations. He’s written a book on how those survival principles can be adapted to help people function & perform better in their day to day. The book’s called ‘How to Survive: Lessons For Everyday Life From the Extreme World. Also talk about the importance of getting outdoors and chat surfing 🏄♂️ & rugby 🏉.
Two Irish footballing friends, Sean & Kevin - now either side of a Gloucestershire football ⚽️ rivalry - talk about their recent inspirational trip to coach the game in Sierra Leone. Jen David orchestrated the trip and has long since helped communities in the country, having originally worked as a nurse there.
Jen’s a trustee of Kambia District Foundation.
Sport, health and fitness chat with hugely experienced trainer James Golden. From working with elite footballers ⚽️ to high flying corporate clients fascinating to hear how James help people improve performance and feel better. James is a resident trainer at Daylesford Organic Farm in the Cotswolds - where we recorded a co conversation. We’ll do a longer, more specific chat on training soon!
Cheltenham Town striker Luke Varney talks about his long & exciting career in football ⚽️ - he’s played non league, league two, league one, Championship & Premier League. Cool chat about life lessons & experiences of playing at historic clubs like Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday & more.
Chris Coley has been involved with and supported Cheltenham Town ⚽️ FC, Gloucestershire Cricket 🏏 Club, The Cheltenham Horse Racing 🏇 Festival & organised clay pigeon shooting events. This alongside careers in teaching & then building his own very successful hospitality business around sport. Now in his 70s, he still owns horses & is heavily involved in sport.
Chat with trainer Fergal O’Brien about his lifelong dedication to horses 🐎 & what how the sport has taught him life lessons. Fergal is on Twitter & is always keen to have people up to his yard in Gloucestershire (20 minutes outside of Cheltenham) to watch the horses in action.
Paul Cooper plays Martin Mucklowe in the BBC comedy This Country. But he’s also been a football ⚽️ fan & youth coach for decades - and organises ‘peace games’ to bring divided groups of people together.
Will Boyle is a 23 yo player for Cheltenham Town - formerly Huddersfield Town, Kilmarnock FC & Kiddderminster Harriers. Fascinating chat with Will about the psychological resilience needed to ‘make it’ & using/dealing with feedback.
Fun and inspirational chat with West Country boxer Joe Hughes. Joe won a European title despite effectively being one handed due to Erb’s Palsy ( paralysis of his right arm). Cracking tale about belief & focus. Let me know what you think.
Lot of talented young kids & teenagers get lost to football after ‘missing the cut’ for a variety of sporting & life reasons. Nick & others from the Bridge Football Academy are trying to create a second chance for youngsters in Gloucestershire ( and South West of England, generally). Working with clubs like Cheltenham Town, Forest Green Rovers, Yeovil Town, Bristol Rovers and more. Cool chat too about the anxiety of trials and why we have to understand what young athletes are dealing with in their life when trying to identity elite talent. Let me know what you think!
After a great 👍 weekend of boxing in London, disappointed by the vitriol and judgement of Dave Allen. Think it’s unhealthy on all sides - especially when directed towards a man who’s shown bravery in abundance, in & out of the ring. Analysis over condemnation perhaps healthier. Love to know what you think - I’m on Twitter, Insta & LinkedIn etc.
Further thoughts on what being a football ⚽️ fan adds - or takes away from our lives. Talking to my bro about the changing experience of being a Man U supporter since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
Former Cheltenham Town footballer, turned coach and entrepreneur, Andy Tucker's story is an impressive tale of transformation.
Andy started his coaching company in the the afternoons after training sessions and now Andy Tucker Soccer Camps provide football coaching to more than 50 schools in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.
Really enjoyed this chat about the life of lower league/non league football players and the challenge for sports men and women of finding a second career when their playing days are done.
Also cool on how to scale a small business that's built on your 'personal brand', keeping up standards of service and reputation.
Let me know if you like this - @eddraper81 - and please rate on Itunes. Thanks for
Four years into pro boxing 🥊 career, Adam Harper from Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire won the English Super Welterweight title in September 2018. The big time beckoned. But an adverse brain scan in January brought an abrupt end to his fighting career. He’s now training as a boxing referee and transitioning into a new career. Also talk about the mentors and discipline boxing has given Adam - he’s never met his real dad and left home at 16. Powerful chat and an inspirational character.
Michael Duff’s story is a corker - the only man ( we think) to play in all of the top eight football ⚽️ leagues in England. A journey that began with Carterton Town and reached the dizzying heights of the Premier League with Burnley. He’s now manager of the club where his career really kicked off as a player - Cheltenham Town. Talks about what he’s learnt from the managers he played for - particularly, Sean Dyche, who rang while I was with Michael and has been a consistent mentor. Really enjoyed this chat about life, ambitions, levels, the ego versus team unity, money and its effects and much, much more. Let me know what you think @eddraper81 on Twitter. Cheltenham Town is my local club so hoping it’s a good year ahead for Michael.
The Cheltenham Wellbeing Festival is coming to town in September! Great time talking exercise, health & technology with Lottie & Alex who are incredibly passionate about spreading helpful knowledge. cheltenhamwellbeingfestival.com for all the details. Love to know your feedback and appreciate you rating the podcast on iTunes etc.
Really enjoyed this chat with former Cheltenham captain & Bradford defender Shane Duff. We talk about his switch of mindset that allowed him to become a professional footballer and the same mindset that allowed him to pivot when injury curtailed his career at 28. Fascinating to hear how the life skills learned in football have allowed him to prosper in the world of property development. Also talk about the psychological experience of being compared to his older brother former PL player Michael Duff - now manager of Cheltenham. @eddraper81 for your feedback - hope you enjoy it. Pls review and share, if so. Thanks, Ed
Issac Chamberlain is a talented 25 yo Cruiserweight boxer, rebuilding after his first career loss. He’s also wise beyond his years. His mother cajoled him into boxing 🥊 after his cousin was stabbed to death. Isaac suspects gang life may have been his future were it not for the sport. From a tough neighbourhood in south London, he talks realistically and inspirationally about how kids in similar situations can avoid getting embroiled in street violence. He also talks candidly about a family member stealing money from him and how he dealt with it. We also go into the mental challenges of boxing politics and uncertainty over the next opponent. Let me know what you think @eddraper81
Fascinating chat with Racing car 🏎 driver Clayton Kingman - a man who made it from self promotion on twitter to race some of the world’s best cars on some of the most illustrious tracks in the world. From the almighty challenge of getting sponsorship and a car in the first place to the huge psychological and physical toll of competing at high speed. Good talk on nutrition & visualisation too. Hope you like it - let me know what you think on social media.
Great fun taking fitness and health with boxing 🥊 strength and conditioning coach Dan Lawrence. As Head Of Performance at Matchroom Boxing gym, Dan’s worked with elite boxers John Ryder, Conor Benn and many more. He’s also helped NFL Super Bowl winner Jay Ajayi and England 🏴 & Southampton footballer ⚽️ Ryan Bertrand. We cover the challenges of working with elite athletes and also health and fitness tips for the general public. Also talk about the connection between physical and mental health and current issues facing Uk 🇬🇧 society. Let me know what you think!
Great career/football chat with ‘Finners.’ Covering his time as a youth player at Nottingham Forest to Lincoln, to Cheltenham Town and his transition into a new career - he’s now commercial manager at the club. Let me know your thoughts. Loved this conversation.
Really fun and candid chat with pro rugby union player Gareth Evans. The uncertainty of the career, the injuries, the highs, the business side. Fascinating on the psychology of pro sport and also the consideration of the career to come.
Long chat with John about his potential world title shot in 2019 after eight years in professional boxing 🥊 - cover the ups and downs of his career and how he deals with the uncertainty as he awaits the magic phone call to say the World title shot - potentially against David Lemieux is on. Talk about life lessons of boxing too and how the lifestyle style and its pressures work (or don’t) with fatherhood. Touch a little on judgement from social media critics and the general health of Boxing 🥊- and why its popularity is on the rise. Let me know how you like it guys.
Fascinating chat with the first pro boxer with type 1 diabetes to awarded a pro license. Muhammad Ali had to fight for it though. Compelling and courageous young man who boxes next in Manchester November 17. You send now he’s won his right to fight, the boxing will be an easier part of the journey. Let me know what you think.
Had a long phone conversation with Tony Bellew ahead of his challenge to Oleksandr Usyk, the Cruiserweight king, this weekend. Few thoughts here. Wrote a piece, which you can read here too: https://www.givemesport.com/1412429-tony-bellew-exclusive-i-can-shock-the-world-against-oleksandr-usyk
Seen a fair bit of vitriolic judgement flying around re Amir Khan after his WIN v Samuel Vargas. People getting very dismissive of Khan after a knock down and angry about his possibly choosing NOT to fight Kell Brook next. Thoughts on whether this is A) respectful and B) healthy to hold others in this righteous fury - particularly a former Olympic silver medalist and World Champion.
I really enjoyed talking boxing & life with Tony Bange. Tony had to put his blossoming boxing career on hold due to illness in his family. Some insight into the mindset required to make it in Sport plus also the life enhancing skills Tony has gained from competing. His return comes September 8th, York Hall, London.
Few thoughts on the PL opening weekend. The clamour for new players but the reality & complexity of fitting a new team. Does Football’s fascination with buying, and a sense of not having enough, reflect society? Get in touch with your thoughts - @eddraper81 on twitter.
Kiko Rodriguez had a lifelong career in the motor industry, but after shocked by what he witnessed his footballing son, Jay Rodriguez ( England international player) decided to open up an ethical agency. Interesting service station chat on some of the practices he’s seen and what he believes an agent/intermediary’s role should be.
Review chat with Chris Skudder in Kazan (joined by his tour guide Vasili) + journalist Tom McDermott. Thoughts on the tournament as a whole, the revitalisation of international football, England 🏴 and what could come next. Get in touch with us on social media with your thoughts.
England win on penalties for the first time at a World Cup. Discussing the seminal event and what it says about Gareth Southgate’s preparation of his players - tactically, physically and psychologically.
England finally win a penalty shoot out! Second in 8 total shoot outs! No accident though. Vindication of Gareth Southgate’s holistic approach to coaching - conditioning bodies and minds. My thoughts here - ping me your’s @eddraper81
Talking the surreality of England v Belgium & the World Cup so far with Chris (briefly before his phone drops out) & Tom in Manchester - before we lose him abruptly too! Apologies for roughhouse ending, but lots covered here. Get in touch with us on social media to have your say!
Historic day for the England football team - biggest ever win at the World Cup and thru to the last. Meanwhile the England cricket team whitewashed Australia for the first time EVER. Could the connection be in the emphasis on psychology and carefree - live-in-the-moment philosophies in both camps? All in the mind? Don’t fear, don’t overthink? Hit me up with your thoughts on twitter - @eddraper81
Shakespeare wrote ‘there is no art to find the mind’s construction in the face.’ Just wonder if Lionel Messi’s strained expression for toiling Argentina offers a different view. What do you think? @eddraper81 on twitter - love to hear from you.
Is there a sport that offers such hope and opportunity to the underdog as football? Not judging by the World Cup so far - where powerhouse nations Germany, Brazil, Argentina and Spain all failed to win on the opening weekend. Is there also a life lesson in there - don’t over-respect or be daunted by people with prestigious CVs. Get your tactics rights - who knows what can happen!
The World Cup is here! Talking tournaments & players past & present. England bent - as we’re English and - but cover loads of subjects. Also talk about going into a World Cup as parents - 28 years after we were both dragged into World Cup mania at Italia 90. Let us know your memories and predictions for Russia 2018.
Great to have Tyson Fury boxing again - a skilful and characterful addition to the current heavyweight scene. Here though run through people extremely dissatisfied with the ‘contest’ v Sefer Seferi. Perhaps - following depression and dark days of addiction - this was a psychological feat, just getting into the ring. Maybe that was the point. And Fury prevailed. What do you think? Get in touch -@eddraper81 on twitter.
Talkkng about the power of football nostalgia with Sky Sports Presenter Adam Leventhal on his second career commissioning books that trade on football nostalgia. Is there a sweet spot for nostalgia - a time and age we romanticise in our minds? Adam's nostalgic club books are called 'Tales From'.
It’s the time when we’re all overwhelmed by football nostalgia - World Cup time. Few thoughts on the phenomenon and how pegged the emotion is to summertime. Will that affect our enjoyment of Qatar, watching from a shivering 🇬🇧?
Interview with West Ham and England u17 footballer Aji Alese. Insight into the psychological challenges young players 'trying to make it' face. And the importance of self belief in a world where external opinions vary. Also, the discipline required by a young player versus 'regular' teenagers.
Few thoughts about how a national debate over a footballer’s right to sport a certain tattoo evokes memories of 1950s USA and court cases about freedom of (symbolic) speech. When can we limit that freedom - do we need need detailed criteria. Also, few thoughts on fans’ furious attachment to their opinions and ‘being right.’
Real Madrid win a 4th CL in 5 seasons displaying once again an uncanny ability to relax and deliver in the big moments. To be in the Zone. To filter out the noise. In contrast, Liverpool’s keeper made mistakes he’d never make outside of ‘the occasion’. Few thoughts here - have a listen and let me know your thoughts.
Thoughts on Adonis Stevenson v Badou Jack. And, in particular, 40 yearold Stevenson’s ability to counter the effects of age to rally to a positive result. Also reflects the trend of boxers biggest paydays coming when their bodies are ebbing - mid to late 30s. Love to know your thoughts.
Sky Sports New Presenter Tom White is a passionate Sunderland fan. He’s had to read news of the team’s relegation out live on Air for the past two seasons. So is being a football fan good for our emotional health? How do we manage it? He says we can’t! @tomwhitemedia
My wife’s known me for 15 years ( well - knew for 25 all in). During that time I’ve built a career in live radio & tv. But she says she’s never seen me as nervous as last night preparing to play football with Paul Scholes & other ex pros. Played & loved it. Put me in mind of Eleanor Roosevelt fabled advice to do something every day that that scares us. How do we achieve that though? My thoughts here - love to hear your take. RTs etc appreciated.
Recorded a few thoughts on how the timing of free-thinking, imaginative Arsène Wenger’s arrival at Arsenal in the autumn of 96 was incredible timing. He married with a group of disciplines, dogged and defensively attuned winners who needed liberating. How vital is timing in Sport & Life?
Had some thoughtful tweets this week - @eddraper81 - on potential matchups in heavyweight boxing involving Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder & Anthony Joshua. Connect those to concept of self-awareness and maximising strengths and minimises weaknesses here. #boxing
Jurgen Klopp’s teams have beaten Pep Guardiola’s teams more than any other manager’s. So, despite Pep’s stunning success over the big sample (league) should he tweak his style and tactics next season when he faces Klopp’s Liverpool? Are football ‘principles’ really analogous to principles of how we live life? Thoughts here...
Some people in some countries don’t have the choice of doing what they enjoy. But when you have the choice, what if you chose something you don’t love? If it’s a sport like Boxing, surely a big risk? Thoughts on brave David Price’s defeat.
Why I enjoyed the fight and incredibly, inexplicably, it went similar to how I thought it might. Kudos to Joshua for skill demonstration to back up the physical and Joseph Parker for his bravery and cleverness. Few thoughts. Like to know your’s.
Had a lot of insightful tweets after Dillian Whyte’s win over Lucas Browne - run through them here with most in consensus that Whyte’s skill set and mindset is improving. Please listen and give your thoughts. Ed
Dillian Whyte aiming to continue his less prominent, but dogged subplot to the Anthony Joshua brightly lit story Saturday night v big punching Lucas Browne. Going thru a few of your tweets and discussing Dillian's determination to stay in the mix for a big moment.
Boxing is buzzing right now. Can’t turn on the radio, tv or social media without hearing the Sport talked about. Is it second to football now in terms of popularity? Or is it a peak attached to one man - Anthony Joshua. If not, what is number 2? Few thoughts recorded on the topic...
Lionel Messi mastered the key moments to help Barcelona beat Chelsea in the Champions League. Thoughts on how is ability to be zoned into the moment is part of greatness and why an intellectual/statistical comparison between Messi + Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t reflect the magic factor. Also point out how underpriced and undervalued goalkeepers are - DeGea may well have denied Messi!
Man United exit the CL with a whimper - but even if they’d won through would the W justify the lack of verve and passion. Should we be offensive unless forced to be defensive - like v Man City or Roberto Duran in boxing? Do wins in life count irrespective of how they’re gained? Look at boxing and how Ws can be down to vagaries of judges opinions, so surely the process and performance is where the lessons are gained if a W is necessary as the goal. Thoughts appreciated!
Saddened by stories of pitch invasions at West Ham United. Keen to get an understand of this specific situation and also the pros and cons of being fans in our lives. How much emotional investment should we make? And do we not think players, coaches and owners share the goal of winning? How important is patience for long term success? Thoughts here on the audio blog. #westham #pitchinvasion #fananger
Deontay Wilder put me in mind of the Fosbury Flop with his performance Saturday night. He shifts the Boxing paradigm with his unorthodoxy leaving it hard for analysts to assess his potency or make any kind of prediction on Joshua-Wilder. Love it!
Cristiano Ronaldo’s journey from tricky, pacy, sometimes fanciful winger to a prolific forward who scores with both feet and is as good in the air as a traditional ‘target man ‘ striker is an inspiration. Take a look at some of the developments in his career that’s still going strong at 33 - and why I feel we can all learn from it.
Some of my favourite images from Sport are two boxers embracing, unified in mutual respect and understanding of each other. Or footballers shaking hands after a gruelling encounter and praising their opponents. This unifying vision can maybe aid western society right now where online acrimony would have you believe we’re different. My thought, debate Brexit etc but avoid the sense that we’re all separate and diametrically opposed. Hi
A few years ago when I hosted the no 1 boxing podcast in the world, analysts would tell me Luis Ortiz was the best heavyweight in the world. Now few give up a chance in the world title fight v Deontay Wilder Saturday night. Why? His motivation has gone as he has money? Father Time? Familiarity exploded the myth? Thoughts here - please listen and message me on Twitter @eddraper81 or instagram ed_draper81.
About winning or entertaining? Both? Heated debate this week after #ManchesterUnited\u2019s scoreless and attritional draw in Seville. My thoughts on footballs history as escapist entertainment, but also people\u2019s emotional investment in the result.
In the FA Cup, players from the third tier of English football collaborate to beat multimillionaire super stars from the premier league. How? Powerful lessons in synchronicity, teamwork and belief. The fluidity of English football where Premier League teams can tumble down the divisions also contains powerful life lessons.
George Groves beat Chris Eubank JR in the big boxing match Saturday night in Manchester, England with a skilful,well-planned is a performance. Here are some thoughts on life lessons that lie within it - in my opinion.
Do we double down on strengths or work on improving our weaknesses? Considering this theme in connection with huge boxing match In Manchester on Saturday night - Groves V Eubank JR. a fast starter v a fast finisher. Do they tweak plan to accommodate weaknesses or focus on their strengths. What\u2019s best in Sport & life?
As a national broadcaster yesterday was a tough day - having to break live news re the jury returning verdicts of guilty for paedophilic coach Barry Bennell. Tough to retain composure on air, tough as a parent to be swamped with fear about the world. But as a former youth Football also saddening as a fear that that vital endeavour is tarnished. As a kid, I learned a fantastic array of physical, mental, emotional and social skills from being coached and more still from being a coach. Here I reflect on how vital it isn\u2019t that good men and women aren\u2019t deterred from youth coaching. Thanks - Ed
England beat Wales at the weekend in rugby 12-6. But rather than focus on the positive aspects of his side\u2019s performance the England coach was most verbose when railing against opinions expressed in the media about one of his players. I ask can we be fulfilled in life and Sport if our emotions rise and fall according to the vagaries of others\u2019 opinions and comments?
Harry Kane is a footballer for Tottenham Hotspur who has scored 23 PL goals this season. I\u2019ve presented coverage of his exploits for the last 3/4 years on Sky Sports News. His rise to prominence has been rapid but the objective improvement in his skill set is something I believe we can all use as inspiration in everyday life - every moment.