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Full-time Fletch: 'Anfield is the best for atmosphere on big European nights'

By Darren Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Champions league, Manchester united f.c., Uefa champions league

BT Sport’s man behind the mic, Darren Fletcher, answers questions on co-commentators, top games and best atmospheres. 

Best game commentated on?

Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund at Anfield in last season’s Europa League. Liverpool were dead and buried, 3-1 down and you couldn’t see anyway back for them. And then the comeback began and it was just one of those magical European nights at the stadium. It was astonishing to watch. Liverpool clawed their way back into the game and belief kept growing.

The Anfield factor was always in my mind – it’s the kind of ground where these amazing comebacks can happen. As soon as Liverpool equalised there was only going to be one outcome and when the winning goal went in, the atmosphere was sensational. That game had everything.

Top ‘wow’ moment at a match?

To have the honour of commentating on last season’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid at the San Siro was incredible. I still look back and pinch myself. A kid from a council estate in Nottingham commentating on the biggest club game in world football. It was such a privilege and an unforgettable experience.

Game you wished you had done?

I would have loved to have commentated on the Man Utd v Bayern Munich Champions League final in Barcelona back in 1999. The manner in which they won it, scoring those two late goals was amazing.

As a Nottingham Forest fan, I would have loved to have commentated when they won league championships and back-to-back European Cups. I watch those games back now and it would have been great to experience that success.

Top three grounds for atmosphere?

Anfield for sure because of the big match atmosphere. European matches under the lights at Old Trafford are also very special. Standing on the gantry at White Hart Lane when Spurs played Inter Milan in the Champions League a few years ago and Gareth Bale was on fire was also incredible – the place was absolutely bouncing.


Funniest co-commentator?

Robbie Savage is probably the most gregarious and willing to have a laugh. He brings his personality into the commentary. He was also part of the funniest thing I’ve seen when we were commentating together at Villa Park and he was hit full in the face by the ball while trying to make a point. It knocked his headphones off and made his nose bleed. I was in absolute bits laughing!

Best ground for commentating?

Bayern Munich’s stadium, the Allianz Arena, is great. You couldn’t be in a better spot and the viewing position is perfect. Real Madrid’s Bernabéu is incredible; a huge, cavernous stadium and so impressive when full.

How do you deal with on-air mistakes?

Sometimes I say the wrong name or describe the action incorrectly. There’s not a commentator out there who doesn’t make a mistake  at one time or another. It’s live broadcasting, so it happens. I don’t get embarrassed because we’re all human. If I make an error, I always try and recover quickly, and keep my concentration.

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