Something completely different.

Published: Monday, 03 October 2022

I’d be flattered if it wasn’t so predictably shallow and basic. I’ve been off the U.K. broadcast scene for 10 years yet still some people at home use my name to try to sell articles - and now books.

How sad that somebody I haven’t seen for 30 years - and for whom I went out of my way to help start their career - feels the need to take the cheap and inaccurate option by smearing me – together with virtually everyone in the industry (including, it seems, the entire Sky business) – in her upcoming autobiography.

Producers, directors, cameramen, sound technicians, statisticians - everyone it seems - has either belittled her or tried to block Gabby Logan’s career. Except they didn’t. In fact, I can’t think of anyone who’s had more of a leg up, at the expense of others. A career in spite of herself - not because of herself.

Let me say this. I’ve dealt before with the incidents surrounding my resignation from Sky. I repeat - resignation. I was not dismissed. I’ve taken responsibility for my part in what happened. It’s more than time to move on. And I thank Sue Barker for her quotes in the Daily Telegraph today. 

The first piece in the serialisation of Logan’s book reads like a piece of first-grade fiction. According to Logan, seemingly everyone from a Sky Sports intern to Starbucks barista has somehow insulted her.

I’m sorry. I just don’t believe that. I know she has an axe to grind because Sky terminated her first deal, but I knew most of the people she goes after at SSN and my experience of them was totally the opposition to Logan’s. They were first class operators who found her very difficult to work with  

They gave her the nickname ‘Gabbler’. She always had an awful lot to say - not a lot of it very complimentary. In the end our guv’nor, Vic Wakeling, pulled the plug and refused to renew her first deal. I notice he didn’t escape her ire either. 

I first came across Logan when she was a local radio reporter in the North East. She sent messages saying she was interested in working in tv. I wanted to help her because she was the daughter of a Coventry legend - Terry Yorath - and I thought she was worth taking a gamble on. Around about the same time we got Kenny Dalglish’s daughter - Kelly - a role at SSN. Kelly has gone on to have a terrific career. We also got Bernard Gallacher’s daughter - Kirsty - a job after a request from Trevor Francis’s wife, who was a friend of the Gallagher family. 

Because I helped Logan get started, I felt a responsibility to her so I tried to get Wakeling to renew her deal - a bit like I did when he decided to let Jamie Redknapp go. I had success with the latter, but Wakeling was having none of my appeals to keep Logan.

The same thing happened to her at ITV. They let her go. I actually fixed Logan up with her first agent - Gary Lineker’s mentor - Jon Holmes. That relationship didn’t last long either. I’ve no idea why. I’d have to speculate. I’m not going to. I’ll leave it to you to join the dots. 

30+ years later, on the eve of a book launch, we’re all suddenly treated to “her truth”.

The majority of it doesn’t relate to me – but what does is largely nonsense. Her ‘business card’ story – I’ve never used business cards in my life. Her phantom flight, which I have absolutely no recollection of. How I was fired from Sky – incorrect.  Lawyers have been instructed.

On what she infers about others, rather than being specific, let’s just throw a load of mud - mixed with fanciful stories - and see what sticks.  Why she doesn’t name “Mr Well Known” and “Mr Rugby” – if there are serious allegations, they should be investigated.

Anyway, let me add some colour to a few of the stories she’s half told. The day before her interview at Sky, she called me and asked what she should wear. I couldn’t believe it. Why ask me? I said I had no idea. Perhaps it should be something she felt comfortable in? Her reply was exactly this ‘oh, leave it with me Richard - I know - sex sells’. I was amazed. She had no problem playing that card.

When she started, I warned her about getting too close to work colleagues. She had no problem in that area either – interested to see if that makes the book –but none of my business, I was never one of her ‘special’ friends. Nor did I deliver the taunt that left her ‘dying inside’. I was surprised to read that description, bearing in mind how Gabby’s family have been affected by real tragedy of that nature.

We all have our own grief. My family have quietly worked through ours – against a maelstrom of abuse, bile, death threats and humiliation – for 10 years and often daily, and the allegations are barely based on a grain of truth. 

So, if you don’t mind, I find reading Logan’s serialisation of smears very sad. 

As for Terry. Nothing will change my opinion of him. He was a warrior on the pitch. A Coventry legend. He’s been a warrior off the pitch as well. No-one should ever forget the part he played putting a community and a football club back together after the Bradford fire of 1985. Some of the things he saw must’ve been horrendous.  And I’ve no idea how you ever come to terms with the loss of a child. With a quiet dignity in his case.