What is it about Hull that makes us all simply accept mediocrity? Is it because we are such nice people that we appreciate everything without question? Do we simply prefer the quiet life or is it a case of “Well, what choice have we got?”
I can’t believe that Radio Humberside is still a viable concern. Come on, how many of you only bother to tune into the Soap Box in order to hear someone ranting about Hull City, or Sport on a Saturday in the hope that someone just might say something positive about our club? Well, so long as Chris Harvey is still there I suppose you might stand a fighting chance. Most of the time, we simply end up getting wound up, ridiculed and patronised by a Mr. David Gibbins and more recently his sidekick Trevor West.
I cannot remember ever having listened to a programme with Gibbo when I didn’t end up wanting to slap his ugly face into next week. At the BBC, they are I’m told, instructed to remain impartial and concentrate on the facts. They are expected to be uncontroversial and supportive of their local communities. Admittedly at Humberside they transmit to the South Bank, yet as Hull is the largest city in their catchment it wouldn’t be too unreasonable to expect that they could find a decent reporter to cover sport in Hull.
In the past we have all listened to the many programmes and match reports given by David Burns and Gwillym Lloyd. Although Gibbins was always in the background, these two always managed to find a way to introduce humour into their productions. Despite the fact that most of the teams in the city were struggling, they always remained supportive and were experts at commentating with enthusiasm and the facts. They remained impartial, yet encouraged others to offer their opinions without belittling them. They would offer criticism where it was due, but at the end of the day the broadcasts were balanced, informative and a pleasure (if not a must) to tune into.
Since the departure of Burns and Lloyd we have been given no alternative but to listen to the arrogant and self-opinionated Gibbins, if indeed we bother to tune in at all. Many are unable to attend away games, they instead rely on Blunderside to keep up to date with our performances, although it has been admitted that Teletext is a much better option.
Trevor West is an ex-Policeman/Referee who for some ridiculous reason has been given the responsibility of reporting on Hull City’s games. He not only has trouble naming a player with more than four letters in his name, he cannot keep up with the pace of the game. Having had the pleasure of listening to one of his commentaries I am not ashamed to say that I fell asleep half way through the second half. What an interesting man he isn’t.
Football is an expensive hobby and although Hull City enjoys some amazing gates there are many thousands more who would if they could justify the cost to support City on the terraces. BBC Radio Humberside seem ignorant to this fact. They have a responsibility to encourage that increase in support. I wonder how many potential spectators have been lost as a result of listening to the negative and condescending tones of Gibbo?!
Most recently, there have been two incidents which have thrown me over the edge as far as Radio Humberside and David Gibbins are concerned. One was his commentary of our FA Cup game at Luton. I missed the game because of work commitments yet listened intently to the programme praying for victory. I have never, ever heard a local commentator sound so negative and despondent when his local side open the score. Shortly after Luton equalised I lost transmission , I think it had something to do with the fact that my radio was on the floor in bits. David Gibbins went mad, he seemed to be reaching orgasmic climax through his delight that an equaliser had been scored. “We now have a real game on our hands!” he relayed to those of us at home holding our heads in despair. I have since been told that after this point Chris Harvey took over. Was Gibbins in need of medical attention? I know if I’d been in the vicinity of the obnoxious prat he certainly would have been.
Secondly was the phone in he conducted prior to the take-over. He was patronising and downright rude throughout but nothing prepared me for the manner in which he spoke to Tom Belton. Tom remained calm and dignified while Gibbins continued with his onslaught of ridicule and barrage of accusations. As I sat listening, cringing with each sentence, I prayed that Tom and his consortium would take control of the club so that Gibbins would get his comeuppance. Despite the fact that this has since happened, Tom has remained very much the gentleman, freely giving interviews, partaking in phone-ins without any fuss. Yet David Gibbins has made no attempt to apologise or even acknowledge his disgraceful behaviour.
He still remains Head of Sport and I for one will no longer punish myself by listening to him. Until our community radio decides to represent this club with the kind of support it deserves then I would endorse the decision to show them the contempt they deserve.
The Platted Muff