Ever wondered what it’s like to be up in the gantry in a football stadium, say, Old Trafford? Well, we certainly have.
You see the odd shot of the commentators sat there on the telly from time to time but it never really gives much away either and, at some venues, it’s quite a ways up there. There’s a little bit of allure behind these mysterious parts of footy grounds that most fans will never get to see.
After hours of mindless scrolling on the social media app, we stumbled across the well-known sports commentator‘s channel where he’s been showing off what it’s like to go in the gantry and one of them is his long walk to crow’s nest up at the Theatre of Dreams.
As it turns out, Arlo’s been doing these videos for a couple of years now, revealing how the gantry looks not only at Old Trafford but other big Premier League grounds too, such as down the road at the Etihad, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, Tottenham Hotspurs’ sparkly new ground and many more.
Another reason we found ourselves stuck on his TikTok for so long was also because of the other behind-the-scenes details he reveals too, even shedding light on how he prepares for games: note-taking, data sheets, how keeps himself warm up there during those cold nights on comms and so on.
A Salford man is running 365km in a heartwarming marathon challenge on behalf of The Christie
A man from Salford is taking on the extraordinary challenge of running 365km over the course of 365 days and eight marathons, all on behalf of The Christie.
Approaching his 36th birthday, Connor Robinson from Worsley had always had a huge desire to do something positive in his life and after his best friend suffered a loss in the family, he was determined to help in any way he could.
With that in mind, the Salfordian decided to set himself the challenge of running 365km in 365 days across the span of eight and a half marathons around Europe to raise money for The Christie Charity.
The initial inspiration for this challenge came from Connor’s best friend Jack Prady, whose mum Tracy was treated at The Christie Hospital here in Manchester and sadly died of bowel cancer in April 2020.
Jack went on to set up the TP23 Foundation in memory of her and ran an incredible 252 miles, raising more than £30,000 for the beloved local charity and cancer treatment facility.
Inspired by his best mate’s accomplishment, Connor felt that he wanted to “do his bit” and help contribute to the fantastic fundraising that Jack had done. And it’s that classic thing, isn’t it? If your mate does something impressive, you can’t help but want to match.
That being said, Robinson set himself the huge goal of taking on not just one marathon but eight — plus an extra half-marathon for good measure — all around Europe to complete the set.
Having never been a runner, the property director knew that completing even one marathon would be a challenge for him, but seeing what his friend Jack had already achieved for such a great cause and in his mother’s memory was more than enough to spur Connor on.
The two local lads putting in the graft.
Then, just 10 weeks into his 18-week training programme on 10 January this year, Connor’s own dad, Wayne Robinson, was also sadly diagnosed with a type of throat cancer.
A non-smoker and drinker, Wayne’s cancer was unfortunately caused by the HPV virus. Having now started treatment at The Christie, receiving daily radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Connor has all the more motivation to take on the challenge.
“Whilst I am running this challenge in Jack’s mum Tracy’s memory, it is also for every single person who’s ever needed the remarkable services provided by The Christie – especially my dad”, explained Connor. “When starting this challenge, I wanted to take it across Europe and spread the name and awareness of The Christie not just throughout the North West but the whole of the UK and beyond!
“There’s probably no other family I have been closer to over the last 15+ years than the Pradys and I have seen first-hand the immediate and long-lasting impact cancer has on loved ones, but also how much needed and invaluable the treatment and care received by The Christie was.”
Connor’s friends and family will be following his journey and supporting him along the way and, like a best mate would, Jack has even vowed to run every marathon with him.
Their first marathon together will be on Sunday, 10 March in Barcelona and Connor will be documenting their journey on Instagram, @letsrunwithconnor.
So far, Connor has raised over £3,000 just through his training runs with Jack, which is 90% of the initial target of £3600. Their eight marathons will take place in Barcelona, right here in Manchester this April; Leeds, Edinburgh, Chester, Dublin, Athens and Valencia, with the final half marathon still to be decided.
You can donate to Connor 365km in 365 days marathon fundraiser HERE and wish you all the best of luck, lads — go and smash it!
These two aren’t the only Greater Mancunians who are taking on multiple marathons on behalf of the vital NHS Foundation Trust this year.
Unsurprisingly, this latest example of Bruno Fernandes‘ diving has been labelled everything from “shocking” and “embarrassing” to “pathetic” and “ridiculous”, as well as being accused of cheating online from various fan bases and even some of his own supporters.
It’s hard to argue with any of those descriptions either, especially when this is by no means the first time he’s come under fire for similar behaviour. This isn’t even the first time we’ve written about it, having been hit with almost identical adjectives based on last season’s performances too.
The 29-year-old Portuguese midfielder remains one of Man United and the Premier League’s most creative players but as one commenter put it: “Moments like these are why Bruno Fernandes get disrespected by rival fans and referees hardly take him seriously… a cheating sore loser to a lot”.
Replying to the original clip, another account wrote: “Players like this make refereeing the game nigh on impossible. This stuff needs calling out every week by pundits, regardless of who it is or what club they play for” — and it seems many others would also back the idea of retrospective punishment for diving.
You can go back throughout his time at Old Trafford to find plenty of other examples of his simulation and while it is part of football, it’s one of the biggest criticisms levelled against the sport and far from what makes it ‘the beautiful game’.
Fernandes is just a drop in the ocean when it comes to the countless players trying to con the referee around the world week in and week out, but this almost chronic level of diving being highlighted on the biggest stage does pose the question of whether more needs to be done to crack down on it after the fact?
You can watch the highlights of Man United’s 1-2 loss to Fulham at home down below: