Football Black List Awards – Blog by Rosie Bonass

My name is Rosie Bonass and I’m one of Ugo Ehiogu’s ‘Ones To Watch’, as named in the recent Blacklist awards! It makes me very proud to be able to write that.

This year’s Football Black List awards marked their 10 year anniversary so it was an honour for me to be invited to the event for the first time, especially after admiring from afar what the founders, Leon Mann and Rodney Hinds have achieved.

Our Tongue Tied Media (TTM) clients, Dion Dublin and Eniola Aluko were both nominated for an award so the original plan was to go the event and celebrate both of them.

The recognition was also really special for me as the event celebrates a huge part of who I am – a Caribbean (partly) individual working in the British game. My Dominican Grandad sadly passed away in April and he was almost like a best friend to me. I was in my element when I was with him- Courvoisier constantly poured as if we were celebrating on New Years Eve, and the nicest Caribbean food you have ever tasted. And I mean EVER. I would occasionally tell him what I had been up to in football and he’d respond “good buddy” with a little smile and raise his glass of brandy. My achievement at the Football Black List awards was for him.  

I took a big risk almost four years ago and left the hospitality industry where I had worked since I was 16-years-old. I was financially stable but I realised that earning good money wasn’t going to satisfy me. I wanted more from life and it was paramount that I made my passion my job.   

I started studying Sports Journalism at the University of Bedfordshire and not only was I one of just two females on the course, I was one of the oldest. University was exceptionally hard and I had so many ups and downs while studying, juggling a part-time job, work experience and a social life, but I feel the experience gave me all the attributes that are required to succeed.

I achieved so much at university, with the help of Adrian Warner and Kate Ironside, but my proudest moment to date is achieving a First Class degree. This made all the struggles worth while and more importantly it gave me confidence and belief in myself. Now I feel like I could tackle anything and that’s the type of attitude you need in this industry if you want to make your mark.

Within three months of starting university I secured work experience at Luton Town Ladies and I worked for them voluntary on match days for two seasons. During my time there I ran the social media, carried out interviews and wrote match reports. The experience was invaluable to me and I can’t thank Nikki Baker enough for giving me my first shot.

Going into my final year of university, I wanted a fresh challenge which led me to where I am now – Talent Assistant at TTM and a part time Media Officer at Tottenham Hotspur Ladies. My final project at university was focused on Spurs Ladies and I was able to write a number of features on topics in women’s football that have only recently been covered by the national press.

By working part time at Spurs, I’ve achieved something I set out to do from the start – I’ve made my passion for football, my job. There isn’t one day at Spurs that feels like work for me. It’s so exciting and I’m lucky to be working with some incredible people. Not to mention our three media interns – Abbey Conroy, Adam Rowe and Paula Wood who I’ve loved mentoring so far this season. While I’m dropping names, it was amazing to see Spurs Academy coach Sam Cox and former Spurs Ladies’ player Eartha Pond also receive awards at the Football Black List ceremony.  

In this industry- and others I’m sure, you may be lucky enough to meet someone who supports you and your vision, and Nicole Allison – General Manager of Spurs Ladies has been that person for me. I’ve really found my feet at the club this season and I feel a huge part of that is down to her. What she’s done for me since I’ve been at the club is something admirable and to me she’s been the best role model.

I got my job at TTM a few months before I completed university and I was ecstatic when Jo gave me the opportunity to work for her. In the past seven months I’ve learned so much about this industry, and I’ve also learned that commuting from Luton to central London is no joke – that’s a job in itself. I walked into my interview with Jo and Chloe back in April thinking that I knew it all and within a few weeks of working at TTM, I was brought back to reality. Credit to Jo she certainly knows how to keep everyone on their toes. I’m so thankful to her for everything she has done for me and every day I learn something new which is why working in football is so exciting.

If you’re still reading this and if you’re someone who is new to this industry or a student, here’s my advice to you:

-Listen, watch, and read as much as you can on all sports. Keep across EVERYTHING.  

-Network! Network! Network! And stay in touch with your contacts. Be memorable.

-Twitter is key for news so make sure you’re following all the the right accounts. (@TongueTT  *cough cough*)

-Get as much work experience as possible. Even if it’s writing match reports for your university team or being a runner, every little piece of experience is only going to aid your future career ventures.

-Be yourself and be authentic because that’s the only way you will stand out. Remember football is one of the most loved sports in the world so think about what you bring to the table that’s distinctive and own it!

-You are likely to have some set backs but don’t let it get you down, learn from it, move on and be better!

-Celebrate your achievements – make them known. This is how you will build your profile. (I need to take my own advice on this *sigh*)

A Life of Two Halves

This week saw the premiere of the sporting documentary ‘A Life of Two Halves’. Looking at how footballers deal with retirement, the Tongue Tied Media production is now available in the ‘catch up’ sections on the BT Sport app and on

Tongue Tied Talent’s Fabrice Muamba, who had no choice but to retire in 2012 after suffering a cardiac arrest, takes a look at the physical and emotional effects of career ending injuries in football, and speaks to those who have been affected. The hour long documentary includes contributions from Eddie Howe, Dean Ashton, David Busst & Sam Hutchinson.

“Football is the biggest drug- you want to be part of it. You feel like if you’re not part of it you’re missing out. I’ve been given the chance to live again and I want to be part of it.” Fabrice Muamba: Career ended in collapse on 17th March 2012

“I physically wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do…I felt very alone. It felt like the worst thing, my body failing me, but the reality is it’s given me a chance to do something else.” Eddie Howe: Retired with knee injury 22nd June 2007

 “I took down all the memorabilia. I blocked everything out. I would have boarded up my house. For two years I didn’t watch it, I didn’t read about it. I took down anything in the house that was football or memorabilia.  From playing in front of millions to taking my child to nursery. All I could think was – how has this happened?” Dean Ashton: Career ending injury 15th August 2006

“If you train to do something your whole life and it gets taken away from you, it’s the worse thing that can ever happen…I love playing football. I gave up once and I’ll never do it again. I’ll finish this game in a wheelchair probably but I’ll be happy doing it.” Sam Hutchinson: Retired from Chelsea 19th August 2010. Came out of retirement 1st December 2011

 “I wanted to play. That urge will never leave me. If I see a tackle there to be won I still want to win it irrespective of what will happen to my leg.” David Busst: Career ending injury April 8th 1996

A History of Hustle

Our production department has been busy this year! Earlier this month we created the radio doc, ‘A History of Hustle’. Part of the ongoing BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra Stories it’s available now on iPlayer for the next 28 days.

During the hour long show, presenter Charlie Sloth counts down through Hip Hop’s most important Hustlers in black music.

But what is a Hustler? Rap tycoon. Business mogul. Entrepreneur. Who wants to just be labelled an “Artist” nowadays? It’s all about the business and the brand.

Young people have music idols but the icons they really idolize are those who have made music their business- the entrepreneurs who have seen the millions flood in from the business around music- not just the music itself.

This countdown includes music from all Hustlers mentioned plus archive of them talking about why they are so much more than music artists. What makes each of them the biggest Hustler? And what drove them to want to be more than just a performer?

The show covers all of the groundbreaking pioneers who have shaped and then reshaped the landscape of music business beyond it.

Artists like Dr Dre who started out as a producer/rapper in NWA and went on to become the richest hip hop mogul with the Beats headphone empire.

Jay Z one of the best selling musicians of all time, but known just as much now for his business ventures- including clothing lines (Rocawear), beverages, sports teams and record labels. He’s more about the brand than the music.

People like Russell Simmons who formed Def Jam and went on to produce the majority of the golden era of hip hop.

Jeezy who is probably best known for his rapping but in fact began his career as an entrepreneur, founding record label Corporate Thugz Entertainment in 2001- ad only started performing because he hustled harder than the acts he had signed.


Michael Carrick’s Testimonial

Michael Carrick’s 2017 Testimonial awarded by Manchester United

After being awarded a testimonial from Manchester United for having played 11 years with the club, Michael went ahead with the match on the 4th June which attracted over 70,000 fans and 1.8 million viewers on ITV. All in all it was a huge success with proceeds going to the Michael Carrick Foundation.

The charities to which the testimonial proceeds will be distributed by the foundation are based in Manchester and Newcastle initially, focusing on young people and their development. The vision of the Michael Carrick Foundation is to create opportunities for children to feel safe, valued and inspired to achieve.

Also benefitting will be projects of the Manchester United Foundation which works across some of the most deprived areas of Greater Manchester, using the passion for Manchester United to help and inspire youngsters.

The teams consisted of the Manchester United 2008’s team and the ‘Michael Carrick All-Stars XI’; the list of players included Van der Sar, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Michael Owen to name a few. As managers, Sir Alex and Harry Redknapp also took part to show their respects to Michael.

Michael said “I couldn’t expect anything like this, thank you all for turning up it’s amazing and looks fantastic. I’d like to thank Manchester United in general, the board of directors, the owners for giving me this opportunity to put the game on.”

They all made their way to Old Trafford on the 4th June to honour Michael and help raise money for what is a brilliant cause. A fantastic day all round!

Michael Carrick Testimonial

Michael Carrick has been awarded a 2017 Testimonial by Manchester United and will be donating all profits to charity.

The Michael Carrick Foundation has been created to distribute proceeds to chosen charities through the newly-created Michael Carrick Foundation, itself a registered charity.

The game will mark Michael’s 11 years with the club and the major highlight will be the match between Manchester United 2008 and Michael Carrick All-Stars XI; to be played at Old Trafford on Sunday 4th June 2017. The confirmed list of players for the United team include players such as Edwin van der Sar, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. While the All-Stars line-up will feature Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Michael Owen to name a few.

The charities to which the testimonial proceeds will be distributed by the foundation will be based in Manchester and Newcastle initially, focusing on young people and their development. The vision of the Michael Carrick Foundation is to create opportunities for children to feel safe, valued and inspired to achieve.

Also benefitting will be projects of the Manchester United Foundation which works across some of the most deprived areas of Greater Manchester, using the passion for Manchester United to help and inspire youngsters.

The testimonial was awarded by the club at the request of a testimonial committee following Michael’s service of over eleven years to the club, including a recent period as vice-captain.

Michael said:

“To have played for the greatest football club for 11 years is something that I’m very proud of and it is an honour to have been given a testimonial. The game will be very special for myself and my family and I hope it will also be a memorable day of celebration for all involved. It is such a privilege to have this amazing opportunity and I’m excited at the prospect of bringing together some former team-mates as well as some of the best players I’ve played against. The incredible support I’ve received over the years is something I’m very grateful for and I could never thank you, the fans, enough. As much as the occasion is about football, I also see this as a chance to give something back. All the proceeds from the game are going to charity. I hope to raise as much money as possible for my Foundation to help make a difference to children’s lives. It’s something I’m very passionate about and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to making this testimonial possible.”

Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United, said:

“I am delighted Michael has been awarded a testimonial. Michael is a phenomenal person and a true professional. He gives stability in our game and mental freedom to the other guys around him to be more attacking. He has a big understanding of the game and is a great role model for our younger players. This will be a fitting way for Michael and his family to celebrate his achievements over the past 11 years and for Michael to create a lasting legacy through his foundation.”

For ticket Information please visit –

At Home With Colin Murray

Colin Murray’s brand new BBC Radio 5Live podcast series remains in the top ten in the iTunes Top 40 UK Sports & Recreation Podcasts chart.

Every Friday you’ll be able to hear another episode of Colin ‘at home’ talking to some of the biggest names in sport in a truly unique setting.

So far Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher, UFC trailblazer Dan Hardy and World Cup golden boot winner Gary Linekar have joined Colin at his home, just to name a few! Check out what other sporting legends had to say today.

Jason Roberts Foundation launch new partnership with Laureus in Grenada

GRENADA, November 28, 2016 –  Young people from the Youth in Action programme in Grenada, a new initiative announced today by the Jason Roberts Foundation, supported by Laureus Sport for Good, have met Britain’s Prince Harry during his visit to the island.

Today’s royal visit to Queen’s Park, in the Grenada capital St George’s, coincided with the formal launch of an ongoing partnership between Laureus and the Jason Roberts Foundation, that will ultimately help to improve the lives of young people throughout the Caribbean.

In addition to participants from Youth in Action, there were other boys and girls at Queen’s Park taking part in football, cricket and netball sessions, watched by Prince Harry, Jason Roberts and Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick, the former All Blacks captain.

The Jason Roberts Foundation stages an exhibition match during a visit by His Royal Highness Prince Harry.

The Jason Roberts Foundation stages an exhibition match during a visit by His Royal Highness Prince Harry.

Piloted in 2015 and 2016 by the Jason Roberts Foundation, vulnerable young people from Grenada undertook sporting and personal development training, before representing their country in the Homeless World Cup tournaments in Amsterdam and Glasgow respectively.

The newly announced Youth in Action uses former players from the teams as volunteers to run sports-based social action projects on the island to promote social inclusion and community cohesion.

From 2017 Laureus will be working with the Jason Roberts Foundation to extend a programme of sports participation and personal development across Grenada, with unemployed young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, including those at risk of offending. Previous graduates will act as role models and mentors for new participants in the project.

The partnership will also produce a sport for development curriculum and an independent report with recommendations for how the concept can be repeated in other parts of the Caribbean.

Jason Roberts, Founder and Trustee of the Jason Roberts Foundation, said:

I am extremely proud of the young people that have participated in our programmes in Grenada to date. 

The new partnership with Laureus is a fantastic opportunity for my Foundation to scale up our work and impact on the lives of many more young people and communities in the country.

To be announcing this partnership alongside a Royal visit demonstrates the impact that sport as a tool for development can have, and the credibility it has around the world.

Prince Harry

Eni Aluko wins FAWSL Golden Boot

Eniola Aluko ended the season on a high scoring in Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Notts County yesterday to win the FAWSL Golden Boot.

Chelsea had already qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the third consecutive season but their win on the final day was extra sweet for Eni as her opener put her on top of the scoring charts.

With nine goals across the sixteen game season goal machine Eni said:

“I’m delighted to end the season with a win last night and beyond delighted to win the Golden Boot.

“It’s been a challenging year for me off the pitch but I always focus on my performance on the pitch and the rewards speak volumes.

“Thank you to my Chelsea team mates and staff for a great year.”

Colin Murray back on Fighting Talk

Former host Colin Murray is returning to Fighting Talk for a second stint as presenter of the popular sports panel show.

Colin is back in the chair of the BBC Radio 5 live programme from Saturday September 17.

He first presented the show between 2006 and 2013, playing judge and jury as panellists tried to earn points for punditry.

Colin will once again take on hosting duties as a panel of comedians, sports stars and broadcasters offer their irreverent and, ideally, funny take on the latest sporting news and events and play games such as “defend the indefensible” and “Any Other Business”.

On returning to the best, indeed only, sports-based panel show on UK radio, Colin could barely contain his excitement. He said:

“It’ll never work….”

Fighting Talk is one of BBC Radio 5 live’s most popular and longest-running programmes.

Jonathan Wall, controller of BBC Radio 5 live, said:

“Colin is pretending he is not excited, but trust me, he’s thrilled to be back on Fighting Talk and I’m delighted he’s back too.”

Raising the Bar Series Two – Out Now

Raising the Bar - JuvenileWho are the judiciary, where do they come from and how are they selected? What is a war crime and how do we deal with them? What is it like to defend people accused of fighting against their own country?

Criminal barrister Rob Rinder is back for a new six-part series!

Along with his studio guests, they will discuss six areas of law; Judges, International, Terrorism, Divorce, Juvenile and Justice.

Listen every Sunday at 11am on BBC Radio 5 Live, and you can catch up on the first three episodes here –

Next up – Divorce.

“I had a female client who needed £60,000 a year for breast implants.”