Tune in to Sky Sports 1 this evening and you’ll catch an ‘eye-opening’ football documentary by a former pupil of The Buckingham School who returned to live in town.
Simon Watts, 35, grew up on Page Hill and even did a week’s work experience with the Advertiser in 1997.
Since becoming a Sky Sports journalist, he returned to the town and now lives in Linden Village with wife Helen, 33, and their 18-month-old daughter, Sophie.
They got married in the town, having been at school together, and Simon’s parents still live on Page Hill. Helen’s parents live on Badgers.
The documentary, which took six months to shoot, is Simon’s first for Sky and it involved him travelling to India for filming.
“It’s the best thing I’ve worked on,” said Simon, who studied journalism at Leeds University. I put a proposal in and massively to my surprise they liked the look of it.
“It’s all a bit surreal. Part of me is looking forward to next week and doing normal things again but it’s also quite sad that this part of my life is now over.”
Oxford United fan Simon is reporter, producer and narrator of the documentary which has taken a year to pull together.
“It was a really liberating project,” he said. “With just myself and another producer – we were both singing from the same song sheet and it worked really well in that respect.
“It shows the other side of football – beyond the riches, which gets most of the media attention.
“It includes some of the things which you might not hear about. The brutal side of the game and how it can be so cut-throat. I wouldn’t say that it’s morbid but it’s definitely an eye-opener.”
Out of Contract follows five footballers in their search for a new club. It is on Sky Sports 1 at 6.30pm today and is available On Demand.