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Peter Drury: I would love to visit Kenya to reciprocate love from fans

It’s not only the players who make football the most beautiful sport in the world; it’s also those who sit in the commentary booth to add a tantalising taste to football matches.

One such person is Peter Drury, the world renowned football commentator who spins magic with his words during football matches.

EVENTFUL JOURNEY

Known for his poetic football commentary, Drury has continued to grow his huge fan base in Kenya.

And on Thursday night in a candid interview with K24 Sports, Drury recounted his eventful journey to becoming one of the most celebrated and decorated football commentators in the world.

The former accountant revealed that after realising he wasn’t going to be a good player and make money out of it, he had to find another means to milk the sport.

“The reality of it came late in life, I suppose. When I was 6, 7, 8 years old it was very quickly clear that I wasn’t going to be good enough playing the game to make a living out of it. So I suppose the next big thing was to talk about it,” Drury said in the interview.

“It was in my early 20s that I started to pursue it in a sort of a serious way. I got a break with a local radio, with the BBC here in the UK and then from there I had a series of lucky breaks throughout my career being in the right place at the right time,” the 53-year-old recounted.

In terms of his match preparation before a kick off, Drury disclosed that its takes him on average of a day to dust the history books and check on facts and statics of players from both teams.

MOST FAMOUS COMMENTARY

But what dazzles many football fans in the country is the poetic and figurative language that Drury employs during his match commentaries.

Many have wondered if he ever scripts them.

“Those words really come from instincts. Once a game kicks off you can’t write what’s going to happen, you simply have to react to what does happen. You have to go with the flow and trust in your instincts. There is really a danger in trying to script a moment, because the chances are the moments you script won’t absolutely dovetail with what really occurs and you gonna end up looking silly,” he said.

One of the most talked about commentary he ever did was a 2018 Uefa Champions League quarter final match when Barcelona were shockingly knocked out by AS Roma despite having 4-1 advantage from the first leg.

AS Roma staged a dramatic comeback scoring a late goal on the 90th minute to earn a place in the semifinal with a 3-0 win on the night to tie the contest 4-4 and advance on the away goal rule.

When the third goal went in, Drury turned poetic with a spine tingling commentary, as he captured the moment in unforgettable words.

“Roma have risen from their ruins… Manolas, the Greek God in Rome… the unthinkable unfolds before our eyes… this was not meant to happen… this could not happen… this is happening… Di Francesco doesn’t know where to go… Iniesta doesn’t know where to look… It’s a Greek from Mount Olympus, who has come to the Seven Hills of Rome and pulled off a miracle…”

ADVISE TO KENYAN COMMENTATORS

Describing what was going through his mind at that time, Drury termed it strange as he did not see it coming.

“That was a strange night. I had gotten into it in a very relaxed style because I thought it would have a relatively small audience. The outcome looked pre-ordained and it wasn’t until Roma scored that penultimate goal that it suddenly occurred to me that if they happen to score again, we are into something a bit special here and so mentally, that state changed the gear,” he recalled.

“When the ball went in from Manolas’ header, that line ‘Roma has risen from the ruins’ was just something I used in the moment to cover up a few seconds because I wasn’t sure who had scored the goal because it was an unlikely scorer. And then of course it was Manolas and what do I know about him? Well, he is Greek and so all that stuff about Greek and Romans just sort of came spilling out,” he explained.

He went on to reveal that he would love to visit Kenya and reciprocates the love and warmth he has been receiving from football fans.

Drury also offered pieces of advice to the Kenyan commentators reminding them that they need to be authentic.

“Be yourself, don’t try to mimic somebody else, have confidence in yourself and always remember, nobody ever turns on for the commentator. They turn on for the football match and it’s your job to articulate it.”