Penalty Box to Commentary Box – Mark Stallard

Former Notts County striker Mark Stallard is equally as comfortable in the commentary box as he was in the six yard box at Meadow Lane.
With 79 goals in 227 appearances at the turn of the millennium, Stallard is the joint 10th highest scorer in the club’s illustrious history.

Nowadays he’s swapped his goalscoring boots for a microphone while commentating at Notts games for BBC Radio Nottingham.

Stallard in our weekly podcast interview with the Magpie Circle digs into a treasure trove of Magpies stories around his playing days when he joined in 1999 under Sam Allardyce.

“My arrival was quite bizarre because chairman Derek Pavis kept decreasing the bid for me while I was in my final year at Wycombe.

“Eventually Wycombe accepted – for substantially less than he had originally offered for me..”

Stallard recalls a quite incredible pre season trip to Thailand and Brunei in which the squad had to contend with a deadly snake on the training ground.

“What a trip. In our first training session in Bangkok we noticed something slithering across the grass and we all ran around it.

“A local guy came over to deal with the snake and casually came back to tell us that if it had bitten any of us we would have been dead.

“The second leg of the trip was to Brunei to play their national team. Given the wealth of the country all the lads thought we would get a special present like a rolex. We came back with one pennant between us.”

Nowadays Stallard is one of the few who still get inside Meadow Lane to see games.

“It’s a very surreal atmosphere but I know I am very fortunate to still be able to go.

“I really enjoy doing the radio work. I rapidly came to the conclusion that it’s far better to be working in the media than being in the dug-out.

“You don’t get all the pressure which comes with having to live from result to result.

“I’m very grateful to Colin Slater for giving me the opportunity to join him in the commentary box a few years ago.

“He’s a true club legend. Working with Charlie is obviously very different but we get on well and try to be as honest as possible in our coverage of the club.”

Thursday 28th January 2021

*Main image @PON_NCC Mark Stallard in his playing days with Notts.

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