Awkward tackle that led football commentator to life-changing career

Friday, May 29th, 2020 00:00 |
K24 Sports Presenter Shawn Osimbo interviews legendary commentator Jim Beglin during the show on Tuesday. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

A miscalculated  tackle for Irish defender Jim Beglin, more than 30 years ago, which resulted in a broken leg was the beginning of an untimely exit from professional football and the birth of a career in football commentary for the 56-year-old.  

For many English Premier League (EPL)  lovers,  the partnership between Beglin and Peter Drury or Jon Champion in the commentary booth are unmatched. 

For Beglin, his journey to becoming one of the most sought after football commentators started by chance.

When it became apparent that he could not further his career as a professional footballer, following a broken leg that kept him out of action for 18 months while at Liverpool and subsequent recurring knee injuries, he resolved to get into coaching.  

“I had already started taking up coaching courses when a chance to work in radio commentary presented itself. 

Here I met more experienced commentators like Drury and we have stuck together since then,” said Beglin in an interview with K24’s Shawn Osimbo via Skype.  

Beglin, who joined Liverpool in 1983 and had a career with the EPL giants spanning seven years until 1989 when he left for Leeds United and later had stints with Plymouth and Blackburn Rovers before calling it quits, says playing at Anfield was a dream come true.  

“Football had been a part of me since I was very young and I had imagined myself as a professional footballer from that age. 

Playing for Liverpool was thrilling and I took it all in.  Playing in one of the strongest sides in England was a dream come true,” he said adding that the current Liverpool squad is similar to the team he played in back in the 80’s with a strong Manager and a quality squad.  

He continued: “I was a logical minded person so when I got injured I tried to deal with it alone. 

Looking back,  I would have done with some help then. This is the point I began looking into media as something I could do, although it was not my intention.” 

Having been behind the mic for over 25 years, travelling the world and painting the picture for his listeners on Radio and on television, Beglin says the most important part of his job is preparation and knowing one’s subject. 

“For any commentator,  preparation is key.  Know your stuff. Dedicate a great amount of time in making sure your craft is solid and reliable. Leave no stone unturned.

It is also important that one avoids mimicking other people, be yourself. Learn from other experienced commentators but maintain your authenticity,” was the analyst’s advice to local commentators. 

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