SI Ferry knows how to talk about football. His Open Goal interviews with players have been an internet sensation - loved for the way they let footballers be real and talk, as Ferry puts it, about the sport like“normal guys would talk about it down the pub”. Next month, on April 18 he’s bringing some of that reality to the next in the Herald On Sunday’s Cool Conversations, hosted by the Edinburgh Grand. He’ll be joined by a panel including Jacqui Low, chairman of Partick Thistle and communications expert, radio and television presenter, Amy Irons and others a night of talking football.

A life less ordinary: Partick Thistle director Jacqui Low talks politics, bereavement and smashing the glass ceiling

It helps that Ferry is a former footballer and that some of the people he interviews are just his mates, people he might chat with anyway. Just a year ago he was in the twilight days of a football career, playing for Peterhead once a week, coaching Under-10s for Celtic, doing the Royal Mail night shift and sitting about the house all day. Then he got a call from some producers, who had a “wee idea”. They found his Twitter stream funny and wondered if he would be up for interviewing fellow footballers. Thus Open Goal was born.

His shows, he says, work because they are so informal. “We don’t wear suits. We’re not good looking. We’ve not got our hair tied back. We don’t use all fancy words. We always wanted to keep it like that because the thing is as soon as you start taking yourself too seriously you just end up like every other football show on the telly.”

The success of the show isn’t something he takes for granted. “I think I’ve said before if I get paid to do anything involving football I feel quite privileged because thousands of people over the country would love to do anything involved with football and get paid for it. I had a normal job. I delivered kitchens for a bit. And I was the worst. I was terrible at it. I used to bash the kitchens up. I had no clue what to do it.”

Part of Open Goal’s secret is that the interviews reveal the struggles and some of the messiness of being a player. “People hold these players up on a pedestal,” says Ferry. “They think they’ve got the best lives in the world. They’ve not got a care. But on interviews, you’ll hear they went through bad times. People like to hear that, that these guys don’t just live in perfect eight-room houses and drink champagne every night.”

Recently Open Goal triggered a bit of social media backlash when they interviewed Robbie Savage. “We had a bit of stick because he’s down in England. But if you’re just going to keep it to Scottish football you’re going to run out. it was quite bad for a couple of nights but then when the episode went out I got a different they changed their opinion on him, which is why we do the show.”

But the April 18 Cool Conversation won’t just be about players – it will be about the world of football and what happens when it meets the media and social media. Jacqui Low, chairman of Partick Thistle and of Indigo PR company, will bring her years of communications experience to the discussion. Amy Irons, daughter of former footballer, Davie Irons, grew up in the world of football and now presents sport for the new BBC Scotland news show, The Nine.

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