Read all about it
Wild Westerners frequently attracted media attention, and not all of it was welcome. We declined a request from a TV production company to follow our first tour after learning they planned to focus on our off-the-pitch exploits in Thailand for a Channel 4 documentary.
During the 1993 tour, a stringer for the News of the World in Bangkok tried to infiltrate the group to write an exposé. Fortunately, he was rumbled, and we let him know.
But with a number of journalists in our ranks, there has been some positive publicity in national and local newspapers, and online.
Mismatch of the day
I wrote about Wild Westerners’ extraordinary 1995 match in Cantho City, Vietnam, for The Observer, a national newspaper in England. The sub-editor said I should write a book about it. One day, perhaps. The story appears on TheGuardian.com.
Rugged centre-half and club skipper Barry Leighton chronicled a number of tours for local newspapers in Swindon, the hometown of me and many of the Wild Westerners. Barry is a popular and well-known freelance feature writer in England’s West Country.
Read “Away the Lads”, the story of our first tour in 1988
Read “Those Blasted Brazilians!”, featuring the 2004 Brazilian tour
Read “The Alternative England Squad”, also covering the Brazil tour
Read “Way Out Westerners”, Barry’s farewell homage to the legendary club
Radio Wild Westerners
Our adventures fascinated James Parkinson, producer of the leading international football podcast, By Association. We were the subject of the series’ fourth podcast, which remains the most downloaded of all. James spoke to me from Australia via Skype. I hate the sound of my voice, and all the best bits had to be dropped because my Siamese Basil was caterwauling during the interview.