He’s also the man who puts lower league Scottish football stars in earphones of fans across the country, but Craig G Telfer doesn’t see himself as some new media visionary, just a football fan with an interest and passion.
He’ll share the stage with other new media football gurus at the Signet Library in Edinburgh tonight, representing the Pele Podcast – the offspring of his long-form sports journalism website Tell Him He’s Pele which he’s run for six years. He’s speaking at Nutmeg football magazine’s new media focus night given the success of his podcast which features deep interviews with stars from across the world of lower league Scottish football.
“I just think there’s nothing else like it around,” says Telfer, from Stenhousemuir and an ardent Warriors fan. “Nowhere else can you get a three-hour discussion with Sean Higgins looking back on his career and the characters of Scottish football.
“Other output can be seen as a bit anodyne, fairly standard but I like to hear the stories and the characters and hear in-depth what it was like.”
Lower league Scottish football is a serious business he tells us before every episode, and his is a serious podcast. He has time to inject some fun too though. As stadium announcer he introduced Stenhousemuir to Stone Cold Steve Austin’s theme song and the smashing glass entry at Ochilview remains.
“I had a bit of fun with a wrestling theme one day when Peterhead were playing us and it stuck.”
Likewise he injects some humour, and some lower league nous, into The Terrace podcast where he is frequently a panel member.
“I think The Terrace is at the top of the game in terms of Scottish football podcasts,” he adds.
“Craig Fowler watched every Scottish Premiership game last season via wyscout subscription which the podcast funds. It means it is informed to a level that not many others can claim. Joel Sked, another of the guys, watched games in their hundreds too last season. They know their stuff.”
LISTEN: The Terrace Podcast
So too does Telfer when it comes to focussing on the lower leagues, ‘bodying online trolls’ and his passion Stenhousemuir FC.
“Doing the Terrace is great fun. I’m now involved in a podcast with my mates. That’s what it’s become since they invited me on, off the back of the THHP website.
“I still keep up the long-form interviews too because I think there is a space for them. It’d be great to do a podcast on the Warriors’ Challenge Cup winning team. I’ve done some with recent players but something with a bit of club history would be great.
“I’d like to get Brown Ferguson in the chair for a while too, if possible.
“Scottish football has stories to tell and characters to tell it, not just in the top leagues, and I love to hear them and edit them. It takes a lot of time, but I love it.”
Podcasts are fast becoming a staple of the Scottish football culture. Where once there was fanzines, then web forums, more and more are branching into audio.
“I suppose in a way, though I’ve never thought of them that way,” he says when it’s posed to Telfer they’re replacing the fanzine in modern-day fan culture, “when you think of The Terrace which I take part in, that’s an hour of content recorded once, in about an hour. Then edited.
LISTEN: Alan Trouten on THHP
“To put those opinions and discussions into print would take a lot, lot longer.”
That’s partially why he moved from text to audio. Sundays were spent devouring the weekend’s football, then in-depth analysis of statistics for features. Instead now, he pores over careers of potential guests, and contacts fans of clubs they’ve played for to ask the questions that they want answered.
“Rory Loy’s recent one did well and I think of all the podcasts Colin McMenamin’s has had the highest listening figures.
“I’ve had my eyes opened to some dressing room pranks too, and there are other characters I’d been keen to get in the studio.”
Telfer records his shows in the state-of-the-art surroundings of Glasgow Caledonian University, where he works.
“It’s great for the quality of the output, but it’s sometimes difficult to have the players come and visit with travel and time constraints.
“I do it because I enjoy it, not for any financial reward – but that would be nice too, perhaps – but I don’t want to put pressure on in that sense. I’ve got people I’d like to intervew and a few feature ideas – I’d like to speak to Brown Ferguson, David Weatherston has promised to come on and I’ve a few lower league characters in mind too.
“For now it’s evolving nicely from the website and I’m enjoying what I’m doing and from the listening stats, the listeners are too and I hope I am adding something, and adding to their enjoyment of Scottish football.”
He doesn’t, however, have many others to recommend though.
“The Terrace and the Pele Podcasts take up most of my time, and most of my listening too.
“There are only so many train journeys I can listen on.”