One of the pioneers of UK live radio football phone-ins has finally hung up his microphone.
Journalist Gerry McNee, 56, ended his 30-year association with Radio Clyde with a commentary at the Celtic vs Rangers match on Saturday. Radio Clyde will not cover domestic matches live from next season because BBC Radio Scotland has won the exclusive contract to cover Scottish games.
In the late Seventies, McNee, then with the Scottish Daily Express, his SDE sportswriter colleague James Sanderson and Radio Clyde’s Paul Cooney and Richard Park introduced the open line to football fans and an element of personality to commentaries. Now the live phone-in is commonplace on BBC and commercial stations across the UK.
McNee eventually became executive sports editor of the Scottish Daily Express before moving to Scottish Television as a football commentator and pundit in 1990. He was sports editor when he retired in 2000.
During his time at Scottish Television, McNee also wrote sports columns for the Scottish Daily Express and the Scottish Sunday Mail, and since 1997 has written a weekly opinion column for the News of the World.
In a light-hearted “obituary” to the passing of an era at Radio Clyde, The Herald’s sports columnist, Hugh MacDonald, wrote: “Clyde commentary, then, is something to be cherished for its energy, controversy and sometimes its downright absurdity. It will be missed as much for its raucous anarchy as for its considered opinion.”