This is the sixth in a series of ‘Life in Football’ articles which looks at the people behind the scenes at GAFC and their careers outside of the club.
This article first appeared in the Guiseley AFC Matchday Programme, for more exclusive content be sure to pick one up from our sellers before games at Nethermoor.
For many Guiseley fans the voice of Colin Robertson is synonymous with match day. After setting up Guiseley Radio in the 2012/13 season, Colin has allowed Lions’ fans unable to make the trip to the match to follow their team.
Colin’s role with the club as Head of Media and his contributions to the community as a whole go far beyond his broadcasts.
After supporting the club for years Colin had always found the lack of coverage frustrating.
Living in an area dominated by several large clubs, many of the bigger radio stations tended to provide very little coverage of Guiseley, let alone pre-match build up and commentary.
So, he set about setting up a place where fans could find coverage of their team.
“We just didn’t have anyone covering us,” said Colin.
“I’ve always been willing to seek out extra content but you didn’t get the same degree of engagement with the club that you get with big clubs.”
Following a brief stint broadcasting on the Bradford Community Broadcast station coverage of Guiseley moved to a new dedicated YouTube channel in 2013.
Obtaining a license to broadcast live from YouTube wasn’t as easy as it sounded, but Colin recalled how one particular goal helped them launch the new service.
“We were really lucky. At the time, YouTube wouldn’t offer you any live broadcasting commissions unless you had lots of hits on your account. The official Guiseley AFC account had benefitted from a goal scored by Danny Forrest in 2012 from the halfway line.
“Thanks to Danny’s goal we got half a million hits on the site so they granted us permission to broadcast live through YouTube,” said Colin.
Since then the channel has gone from strength to strength, and has provided coverage of the club through the highs and lows of the last five years.
Highlights include such as last season’s win over Torquay United after coming from behind and the 3-0 victory away at Stockport in 2014.
He added: “We got reduced to ten mean early on, then went on to beat Stockport 3-0 at Edgely Park in front of 3,000 fans, little old Guiseley. It was amazing.”
Predictably though it was the 2015 Play-Off final against Chorley which stood out as the most memorable experience for Colin.
As Colin explained, it was not the smoothest day at the office.
“Everything went wrong for us on the day, all the radio kit failed and we couldn’t broadcast for ages.
“We were 2-0 down and everything was falling apart. Then we finally managed to get the broadcast out and everything started working. Then we scored three goals to win the game. It was just like a dream, absolutely incredible,” said Colin.
He added: “I just remember thinking about the teams we would be playing next season. Clubs like Tranmere Rovers.
“Every time you named a team you would just think that was crazy that we were on the same level as them.”
However, as it has been on the pitch, this season has proved to be challenging for Colin’s radio team.
A difficult season for The Lions has meant fewer volunteers helping behind the scenes, which has made it more difficult to cope with the requirements that the National League asks a club to fulfil.
Colin explained: “The National League have very strict requirements about announcing attendances, Twitter feeds, things like that, and we have to film every game which we never had to do before.
“When you’re battling and scrapping and gaining safety on the last day of the season, that’s great from a volunteer’s perspective and you get more volunteers coming in but when you are losing week in week out, it’s much harder.
“You can struggle to maintain the volunteers but with that said we’ve had some great people supporting us.”
Colin has also made a sizeable contribution to the local community away from the radio. He can often be found running marathons to raise money for charity and he has participated in several successful fund raising attempts, including a partnership with Action for Children.
“I’m not a prolific runner. I’m just a fat man trying to stay thin really,” he said.
“We have done a few fund raisers over the years and the club has always been at the heart of the community so it’s been very easy to align,” he said.
One of the campaigns which holds a special place in Colin’s heart is the Walk for Wesley event in 2014.
Launched in support of Wesley’s Wish, the fundraiser was aimed at helping local baby Wesley Knight, born with cerebral palsy, to walk again.
Colin said: “We had a whole day on which we tried to encourage people to walk to the game at Nethermoor rather than come in the car.
“For everyone who walked to the game we supported Wesley’s campaign to take him to America to get some specialist treatment to help him walk again.”
Written by Alex Smith – Alex has written a series of articles on the people who work behind the scenes at the club.
He is studying for a Masters Degree at Leeds Trinity University in Horsforth.