Music and football bring people together and set off nostalgia like nothing else and Sky Sports News presenter and Sheffield Wednesday supporter David Garrido finds the door to these sections of his memory banks opened in an instant.
A familiar voice thanks to his years as a sports reporter on BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat, David took on his current role with Sky in February 2011. Sky Sports News’ array of reporters and presenters become recognisable to millions who tune into the channel throughout the week but viewers often don’t get the opportunity to learn about the person behind that public face.
David’s colleagues Charlie Webster and Olivia Wayne (née Godfrey) both provided a level of insight into their character on here and music featured strongly within this. As a DJ with Oxford University’s Oxygen FM once upon a time, David reserves a spot in his musical affections for a genre which rose from the underground to mainstream prominence as the 21st century was ushered in. He also got an unexpected but wholly welcome reminder of it recently, with one of the major duos from the era making an appearance.
“When I was at uni I worked on student radio and the theme back then, around about ’98 to 2000, was UK garage. I got into the likes of Artful Dodger, MJ Cole, and Craig David, who was very credible at that time, even if some people might hear his name now and not think so.
“I was at a wedding recently in Essex and the music they were playing was garage and 2-step. DJ Luck and MC Neat were there and I thought: ‘I’ve gone back 15 years here!’
“Before garage I was a bit of an indie kid, I liked Blur and R.E.M. Also being from a South American family I can appreciate a real mix of genres.”
Even those who play tracks for an audience as a job have their favourites and for David the first record he bought was from one of Norman Cook’s projects before he became Fatboy Slim. Whether David ever introduced it on air by leading in with the immortal ‘tank fly boss walk jam nitty gritty’ line is another matter!
“It was Beats International ‘Dub Be Good To Me’ and it was on a 6-inch disc so there’s a bit of heritage in itself. A lot of people were buying Lisa Stansfield, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan etc. but I loved this one.
“What a song – I think it could be released today and still be as successful.”
Despite coming from Buckinghamshire the 2000 BBC Talent competition winner actually has Colombian parentage so is it fair to surmise that music played its part in David’s upbringing in this respect?
“I certainly think so, I first went to Colombia when I was six years old and they had all the music like salsa, cumbia and vallenato. The music scene in Colombia was so different but there’s a saying there that if you don’t know how to dance then you won’t have much luck with girls!”
David has reported from such tournaments as the World Cup and European Championships in the past so summarising the happenings from the international footballing arena is familiar territory. After participating in the group phase in Chile 1962, Colombia played in their first World Cup in 28 years in 1990, reaching the second round. Two more appearances followed in 1994 and 1998 but an era that had been billed by many as a golden one for the national team delivered precious little as they stumbled at the group phase in each tournament and have yet to qualify again since. Ahead of Brazil 2014, Colombia are 2nd in the qualifying group and have been fuelled by the goals of Monaco striker Falcao while young talents such as Porto midfielder Juan Quintero continue to catch the eye. David recalls his experience of supporting Los Cafeteros in their previous cameo on the big stage.
“The ’98 World Cup was interesting. I was 17, I’d just finished my A-levels and we played England of course and lost 2-0, so I didn’t hear the end of it that summer!
“There was ’94 when Pele tipped us to win the World Cup but unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way and we went out in the group phase. Now I think we’re getting the players together that people have heard of and there’s some real talent in there.”
The 1990s were a time of great promise for Colombian football and players such as the wildly eccentric goalkeeper Rene Higuita and the silky midfield operator and immediately recognisable Carlos Valderrama are impossible to forget. David also had Premier League action to follow throughout this era with Sheffield Wednesday and although The Owls cannot call on the aforementioned Falcao in the Championship there are some similarities between the teams’ fortunes at least. Like Colombia, Wednesday are gradually plotting a return to the top level they graced in the 90s so how did David’s blue and white allegiance come about?
“People ask me ‘why Wednesday?’, and how it happened was I got taken to a game in the ’93 season when we lost to Arsenal in both cup finals. I was never a glory supporter and I just developed a real affinity with the club.
“Chris Waddle was pivotal but I think we had some of the best midfielders in the country in our team.”
In amongst David’s favourite Owls matches over the years was one which took place at Stamford Bridge in December 1996. Chelsea had raced into a two-goal lead through Gianfranco Zola and Mark Hughes inside 22 minutes before Mark Pembridge’s superb left-footer halved the deficit a minute later. Going into the final moments, Ruud Gullit headed his clearance to the edge of the box where a Wednesday defender was waiting. David describes his recollection of the game’s ending.
“I’ve seen some funny old games with Wednesday. The 2-2 at Chelsea, we were 2-0 down and Dejan Stefanovic hit a belting volley at the end which the keeper (Frode Grodas) fumbled over the line.
“It was one of those where you end up hugging random strangers! I very vividly remember the orange kit we had then as well.”
For so many people born in and around Sheffield, Wednesday become a way of life growing up and then into and throughout adulthood. The lure of the club also grips others from much further afield than South Yorkshire and although David’s work commitments tend to largely limit him to attending away games down south he has his pick of vintage and more recent moments in his mind.
“The FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United with Chris Waddle’s free-kick, which is probably my favourite ever goal. I went to Charlton last season where we were one down before Reda Johnson and (Leroy) Lita scored – that was brilliant.
“I was at QPR on the first day of the season, unfortunately it didn’t end up going too well for us. I try to get to a few around London, also Watford’s another one.
“Since 2000 it’s been tough especially but we’ve always had that support and away games are special. With the travelling support we’ve got we make that atmosphere at away grounds.”
Currently, Wednesday are 22nd in the Championship after no wins in their opening ten league fixtures. City rivals United take up the same position in League One with just a solitary victory from their ten games. David’s fellow Sky Sports News presenter and United fan Charlie Webster did an interview on here earlier this year and the Steel City rivalry was one of the topics. The combination of two presenters on the channel tends to vary but as Wednesday beat United 1-0 at Hillsborough in February 2012 in a crucial promotion clash there were representatives from each side on screen.
“The day we had the second derby match in the promotion season we were actually on air together. Obviously we have to be impartial so we have to be careful what we say but it does come up in conversation.
“Recently though it’s more like we’ve been consoling each other! We can’t hold onto a lead and they can’t win a game either!”
Starting out on the BBC with sports bulletins on News 24, David spent eight years at Radio 1 and although it wasn’t his job to DJ he did have more than one or two singing renditions to give, on and off the air.
“When I worked at Newsbeat we were a bunch of people who all loved karaoke at the end of the night whether it was a birthday, a leaving do, whatever it happened to be. I’d always buddy up with someone because if they were good you could take credit, whereas if they were bad you could blame it on them!
“Then there was the time Chris Moyles made me sing Robbie Williams ‘Angels’ on his show – not my finest on-air moment!”
The majority of the interviews on here are with footballers and looking into the best and worst of their teammates’ music tastes is always a given. David works alongside a range of personalities on Sky Sports News, meaning a good mix of song and artist preferences, so he gives his verdict.
“Olivia (Wayne) just got married and her husband’s a DJ so she’ll know a lot of the cooler records. Most of us love a bit of cheese – Natalie Sawyer even tweets some of the songs she listens to with the hashtag ‘CarJamz’ which is always quite amusing.”
With further experience on BBC’s Final Score and some on Radio 2’s breakfast, David had an undeniably solid grounding when he moved into his role with Sky Sports. However, it is fair to say that the Sky environment presents its own unique requirements.
“It’s one of the most dynamic workplaces I’ve experienced and that really suits me. When I left the BBC it was a natural fit for me and the right challenge.
“Also I think Sky are so good at making the big events huge, whether it’s the Manchester derby, Formula 1 or even something like the America’s Cup recently.”
The media industry is so vast and masses of different positions and specialist areas exist within it. Whichever side of the camera someone has aspirations of working on it is notoriously tough to make an impact. David offers his opinion on how the altered state of media today affects those trying to make their way up and those who have already established their credentials to a large extent.
“It has diversified and with social media now there’s a lot of content out there. Anyone can produce media now, all you need is a smartphone, and going back to Big Brother, that made it possible for someone without a broadcasting background to get a break in the industry.
“We (Sky Sports) have to make sure we keep our standards high and I think it’s harder now to make your mark. It also depends what people are in it for.
“The fame aspect was never what it was about for me, I talk about what I love for a living. If I can do it, it’s certainly possible.”
As well as films and sports, David has a love for venturing to new places and his degree in Modern Languages (French and German) fits in with this nicely.
“I love to travel, I got to do a lot of it in my old job and I was on a site recently that calculates how much of the world you’ve seen. It came up as 12 per cent for me which is almost nothing when you think there’s 88 per cent I’ve not seen.
“I try to go to different places. I love Melbourne, Barcelona, also Lisbon is a fantastic city and I’ve got friends there.”
We usually finish up with a selection of the interviewed player’s best career teammates who will go in a fantasy 5-a-side line-up with them. In this case, David chooses his team from the Wednesday players he has seen in his lifetime. The omission of Sir David of Hirst may cause some discontent and Paul Warhurst might need convincing to drop back into his defensive role but here is David’s team.
“Chris Waddle (midfield) would be in there, no doubt about it. Des Walker (defence), and as it’s 5-a-side Paul Warhurst because he could double up as a defender and striker.
“John Sheridan (midfield) for that goal in the cup final to beat (Manchester) United. A goalkeeper, I’ll go with Kevin Pressman.
“I think he was a bit of an unsung hero and I also saw him take an unbelievable penalty at Wolves in the shootout which nestled right in the top corner off the bar.”
To take on this Owls 5-a-side team we need some Colombian stars! The former Real Madrid midfielder Freddy Rincón didn’t make David’s selection as I predicted but attacking prowess would be guaranteed with these five, especially with the man between the posts playing rushback keeper!
“Rene Higuita (goalkeeper) – at times he was brilliant, at times he was a liability. James Rodriguez in midfield, Falcao and Faustino Asprilla up front.
“I think I’ll have to go for Valderrama (midfield). At the time he was so slow but he never made the game like that, the skill he had on the ball was outstanding.”