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BEN SHEPHARD
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On a wonderfully bright autumnal Sunday morning, we headed down to the Sky Sports studios to meet with good friend, Ben Shephard, as he and his co-host Chris Kamara prepared to present their weekly highlights and analysis - Goals on Sunday.
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Off camera, Ben's built a reputation as fine player - with consistent call-ups for UNICEF's Sport Relief as well as recent first team selection for #Game4Grenfell. Combining what he loves with a his charitable work, Ben very much epitomises the Corinthian Spirit. 
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We spent the morning chatting to the no-nonsense midfielder about his love of West Ham, his favourite interviewee's over the years and the stresses of being a modern day parent on the touchline...
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Corinthian: So Ben, you seem rarely off our screens these days. What's the full range of programs you're currently presenting?
Ben Shephard: Well I'm still dragging myself out of bed for the ITV breakfast show, I've just finished a new series of the quiz I host Tipping Point, then there's Goals on Sunday, of course, and I did Ninja Warrior back in the summer too. It can be quite full on!
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C: Goals on Sunday seems to have become a real staple of the weekend for football fans. You've built a following over the years. It must be great fun to do...
BS: I joined sky in 2010 and it's been an absolutely brilliant experience. Essentially, I get to talk about football with current or ex pros. If the 14 year old me knew I'd be doing this he'd never believe it. I love it - getting Kammy through the show is always both entertaining and hairy at times, you never know what he's going to come out with.
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C: And you've had some of the Greats sit on the sofa with you. Have there been any you've been slightly starstruck by?
BS: One of my all time faves was Graeme Souness. He'd never done anything like this, and when you think what he's achieved, and how highly regarded he is, it was spine tingling at times hearing him talk about the Liverpool years, his experiences in Turkey and then what he went though as a manager. He was a very special guest and despite his reputation got quite emotional talking about what happened at Liverpool.
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C: The managers must be fun, but a little prickly to interview. What's the key to handling someone like Jose and what do you make of the recent furore about the way journalists are being treated and spoken to?
BS: Haha! I'm not sure I'm best placed to offer advice on Jose - he certainly took me and Kammy to the cleaners! Jose is clearly an incredible manager, and I've been lucky enough to spend some time with him at Soccer Aid. We've had some great meal times, just chatting football, players and the sport in general. The way the media works now though, unless you're really guarded, the smallest thing becomes the bigger issue, so it's easier to be guarded and give very little away. What I would say is you can never be too prepared for a) what you're going to ask and b) what they might say in reply. 
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C: And as a stalwart of the Soccer Aid games, and recently the game for the Grenfell Tower families, you've built a reputation as being quite a player yourself. Have you always played?
BS: I started quite late - I was at a state school in the early 80's and we had no extra curricular football, and I played rugby on the weekends, so I didn't really start playing till I was 11 when I moved schools. Once I'd started though I haven't stopped - I think it's fair to say there's very little finesse to what I do, but a whole lot of enthusiasm and energy.
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C: Those Soccer Aid matches must be incredible events to be a part of. What are your nerves like when walking out to a full Old Trafford? Different to when going live each morning to millions?
BS: If we could bottle that feeling of walking out in front of 70,000 people and playing in an environment where it's so loud you can't hear your team mates next to you - we'd be able to retire. I genuinely haven't experienced anything like it - for adrenaline, fear, excitement and mostly sheer panic! 
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C: It must be wonderful to be part of such a charitable event. It's certainly very much in-line with what Corinthian FC was all about and what we believe in as a brand, "the power of sport to do good". What are some of the causes the events benefit?
BS: Well, UNICEF is the charity partner and over the 12 years we've been doing it we've raised over 20 milllion pounds to help kids in need around the world. It's reflective of what a global sport football is and the opportunity for us to live out boyhood dreams while supporting a great cause is something none of us take for granted.
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C: Of course we can't not ask you about your beloved West Ham. How do you summarise their season so far? It was a tricky transition to the London Stadium wasn't it. Do you like the stadium or still miss the old home?
BS: I have some incredible memories of the old stadium, it's where I cut my teeth as a football fan, where I fell in love with West Ham, where I experienced the highs and lows of supporting my team. Undoubtedly the move was tricky but the difference from the start to the end of the season last year was huge! The club had several problems last year but have worked hard, it'll take time. That said, as fans we have a responsibility to help create the atmosphere - so we can experience more memories and great moments in our a new home. The better the team play, the easier that'll be so let's hope we build from here - I'm sorry to see Slaven go but hopefully David Moyes can now hit the ground running - I'm confident this new side will click eventually.
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C: West Ham have had some great Corinthian-esque characters down the years, obviously Bobby Moore stands out. But what were your thoughts when Paolo Di Canio caught that ball? That was an incredible moment wasn't it...
BS: I still talk about that with mates to this day. Stuart Pearce wanted to kill him at the time!! Paolo is my all time favourite West Ham player - not always the most stable but without doubt the most magical. It's testament to who he is and what an incredible moment that it's still known today.
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C: And how do you handle the issue of "simulation" when analysing a weeks play on Goals on Sunday? Is it something you'd prefer to shy away from discussing? Do you feel the modern game has too much of the dark arts at times? Gareth Southgate's even called for the England team to be cleverer at it, hasn't he?
BS: We never shy away from it - but Kammy does the analysis, he's far more qualified than me when it comes to that. I ask the questions and I think the ones regarding this are really important ones. However until the consistency comes from the refs to punish simulation, and award penalties when they are rightfully won - the player is always going to look for an advantage. I'd rather it didn't happen but I don't think you can always blame the players either.
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C: You have kids now that are learning to play the game. You don't strike me as one of those parents screaming on the touchline... How important is it that the Corinthian Spirit continues to be taught to influence the new generation?
BS: I'd like to think I'm always vocal but encouraging - I can't bare hearing negativity on the touch line. I watch the boys pick up on what they're hearing and replicating it all the time, good and bad - it's so important that the Corinthian Spirit continues to thrive. 
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C: So when's your next game? What does a good game of football mean to you?
BS: I play 5 aside most weeks and occasionally get a run out for my schools old boys side which is always great. A good game of footy just means spending some time with mates, blowing the cobwebs out and indulging in our love of the sport - our games might not always be beautiful but we all leave with a smile on our faces.

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