Saturday, September 06, 2008

"An Audience with... Tommy Docherty" - September 2008

Former footballer and manager Tommy Docherty has been earning his living for the last couple of decades as media pundit and on the after dinner circuit - and it shows. The first 30 minutes of the evening is effectively a stand-up comedy gig filled with gags about growing-up-poor in Glasgow, and general football related stories. While they are undoubtedly effective at getting the laughs it's disappointing how few of the anecdotes relate to Docherty personally - often preferring some of football's easiest targets (Beckham, Gascoigne & Best).

After a short interval we move on to the Q&A segment of the evening, but again more often than not we get a sharp one liner in response - even to questions quite clearly looking for a more considered response. It continues to make for an entertaining evening but it lacks in depth and sincerity. The few questions that seemed to get a serious response tended to relate to his thoughts on other individuals in the game - Stein, Shankly, Clough, Ferguson, Venables, O'Neill all provoke comment.

As an after dinner turn it's a good routine, but perhaps for this format, and back in his home town, a less polished and more personal version may have been a better option. That said, there was no shortage of applause at the end of the evening.