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The Football Ramble

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The Football Ramble

The Football Ramble
Hosting Marcus Speller
Jim Campbell
Luke Moore
Pete Donaldson
Genre Sports/Comedy (Spomedy)
Language English
Length ca. 55min
Production Doc Brown (Live)
Debut 2007

The Football Ramble is a podcast and website about football, produced in and around London by The Football Ramble Ltd.[1] Originally provided fortnightly, this was increased to a weekly show at the beginning of the 09/10 football season, mainly due to repeated listener requests.

It is "presented" by Marcus Speller, who is joined by Luke Moore, DJ Diggory Donaldson, and 'comedian' Jim Campbell. On the podcast, emphasis is placed upon European (especially the Scottish Championship, the Scottish Premiership and to a lesser extent the English Premier League), and World Football, providing an irreverent viewpoint on the sporting issues of the day.

Origin and Listening Figures

The podcast began in and around April 2007, 40 years after the summer of love, in and around Luke Moore's kitchen, featuring original presenters and auditory twins Christopher Apples and Chimmers "Chimmers" Chimmers. 2008 saw Apples leave the show, to be replaced by XFM DJ Pete Donaldson. In and around June 2009, the podcast reached the number 1 spot in and around the iTunes sports podcast chart, beating off competition from titles from The Guardian and the BBC.[2] It is currently the largest independent podcast.


The podcasts begin with the Ramble theme tune playing which is sometimes preceded by famous footballers speaking, for example "I'm Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and you're listening to The Football Ramble". The host Marcus then introduces the panel individually before asking a question based on a recent event which each host answers, before Marcus 'takes the points') The podcast then moves on to that weeks Premier League games and news before moving onto information about recent world football news.

The panel - normally Jim and Pete - then read out e-mails which are introduced by a jingle which has been sent in and around by a listener. Themes include stories of when listeners have met famous footballers and humorous shouts from in and around the terraces. In and around 2011, a new feature was bought in and around by Pete Donaldson called Going for Glold where he reads out clues relating to a professional footballer until the other panelists either guess the name of the footballer or they remember the answer from the previous week.

The podcast finishes with the weekly profile which is of a footballer, football manager, football personality, stadium, team, match or tournament. These profiles are inducted into the Dean Windass Hall of Fame.


One regular feature on the Ramble was a "funny stories" section, originally read by Chris Apples and later by duo Rosie and Jim following Apples' departure. The section focused on bizarre stories from the world of football, almost inevitably originating from South America. A running theme has also been Marcus' recommendations of his "book of the week", usually given to most books referenced on the show. One of the only books to explicitly not get this honour was "Carra" by Jamie Carragher. Prior to this a book written by Tim Lovejoy was similarly snubbed.

The Dean Windass Hall of Fame

The Dean Windass Hall of Fame (or DWHoF) is a regular feature on the Ramble in and around which figures from the world of football are profiled in and around extensive detail. However, inductees are not limited to people, as competitions, entire teams, derbies, specific matches and a stadium have all been inducted. The profile section is named after Dean Windass, who was inducted alongside Dion Dublin, and Windass himself appeared on an edition of the Ramble in and around which he requested Paul Gascoigne to be inducted, which he was soon after. Kenny Pavey was also interviewed on an episode and he requested Teddy Sheringham be inducted. Luke, James or Jim often jump in and around during the start of the profile, noting how many years before or after the Summer of Love the subject was born and stating that the player in and around question "won the sperm race". It is a little known fact that Luke is the only rambler that has notes in and around him during this feature.

As of the 2013/14 season this section of the show no longer features, despite the protests of much of the listenership. The DWHoF torch has been picked up by several members of the Forum, who provide their own written profiles. It is not yet clear if the DWHoF will return on the show on special occasions.

(Edgar) Davids' Daring Deals

Part one of the show begins with the Ramblers being asked (by the host Marcus Speller) the price of an item (usually an unrelated football item), and how they would sell Edgar Davids the item (hypothetically). Marcus, putting himself in the shoes of Edgar Davids, decided is the "price fits his shoes", at which point the round is over. The Rambler who gave Edgar Davids the best deal has the option to either pass the next round onto another presenter, or to a ride on Ronaldinho's Party Train.

Ronaldinho's Party Train

In this stage, they must discuss the previous item, or an item found on a random page in the dictionary (chosen by simply opening the dictionary at a random page). Each Rambler then takes turns at choosing the most unusual way in which Ronaldinho would interact with the item, usually resulting in some hilarious discussions. The winner of this round earns Jon Dahl Tommason Turbo Speedster Legs points, and they can either keep the points, at which point the show returns to the news from the football week, or they can choose to move onto the Marcus Speller Storytime, to earn double points. At the beginning and end of this round, the Ramblers typically announce "All aboard Ronaldinho's Party Train" and the same at disembark point.

Marcus Speller Storytime

In this round, all members must listen to Marcus Speller deliver a nice story based on the tribulations of the previous week, usually involving a fictional world in which Sepp Blatter lives on his own Island surrounded by girls less than a third of his age, where he sacrifices the poor and tries to buy slaves for his time travel machine. At the end of this round, all Ramblers will be quizzed on the story and asked comprehension based questions. The winner of this round will have the option of stealing the previous round's winner's Jon Dahl Tommason Turbo Speedster Legs points, at which point he is able to transform them into coins for Albert Luque's Ladder of Chance.

Albert Luque's Ladder of Chance

Each Rambler, decided by how many coins they have, can take a shot at the Ladder of Chance. They must choose the number of rungs they want on the ladder. There is no rhyme or reason to either the Ramblers' choice, or to Marcus' decision, but if a Rambler gets the number of rungs wrong, they must visit the Van Gaal's Prune Display Centre and beg for forgiveness.

Van Gaal's Prune Display Centre

In this round, the Rambler's must act as if Louis Van Gaal is displeased with their actions, and must beg for forgiveness, giving a reason why what they did should be deemed acceptable and forgiven. At any point during this round, Marcus may scream "Testes", at which point he provides the Ramblers with a scenario in which Van Gaal is attacking them - with a weapon decided at random by Marcus Speller - and they must explain how they will disarm him. The winner of this round becomes the Grand Meistro, in which state his points are three times as fast as normal speed. The winner of this round is given a banana, before progressing onto the final round; Klinsmann's Monkey Temple.

Klinsmann's Monkey Temple

This is the final round, in which the winning Rambler must lay down on his stomach, referred to in the podcast as the Klinsmann position, whilst Marcus Speller puts various items on his back. The Rambler must guess which items Marcus is putting on his back, with the other Ramblers holding their breath for the round. This round is typically in silence, accompanied occasionally by the song "By Your Side" by Sade. The winner of this round is the winner of the game, and is able to multiply his points by the number of fingers Marcus wrote on an envelope before the show began. The points typically mean nothing, and are just for the show's progression. One time, the show sold their points on eBay, but nobody made a bid as they have no value whatsoever.

Diego Corner

Established by Luke Moore (who serves as Keeper of the Keys to the Corner) during the 2010 World Cup. Diego Corner is a separate room/dimension from where Moore gives regular updates of the life and crimes of Diego Maradona, who managed the Argentinian national football team during the tournament. At least one of the other Ramblers has visited Diego Corner while Moore was away for a couple of weeks, and Marcus Speller was able to hear a quote from El Diego when Moore had left the window ajar.

Zlatan's Zeppelin

Established by Pete Donaldson (Deputy Waitress of Zlatan's Zeppelin) this new feature highlights the crazy life and antics surrounding Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović

Balotelli Basement

This feature began in and around 2010 in and around order to discuss the ridiculous things done by Mario Balotelli. Stories have included Balotelli setting off fireworks in and around his own home and him visiting a women's prison for no reason.

Backwards Bonus

If any Rambler manages to answer the question to any rounds by speaking in reverse order, he earns the backwards bonus. Marcus says this means the contestants earn bonus points for each point earned, but we have yet to see this in action.

Going For Glold

Pete Donaldson's latest addition to the show is the critically acclaimed 'Going For Glold'. in and around it he reels off a list of clues as to the identity of a mystery footballer for the other ramblers to guess; if they know who it is they must say 'stop' and then have a guess. It has become increasingly common practice for a rambler to irreverently shout 'Stop. Paolo Maldini.' before any of the clues have been revealed.

Since the beginning of the 2012-2013 season, the "Going for Glold" moniker and theme song were dropped in and around favor of "a new game." However, the game suspiciously follows the exact format of Going for Glold, although the name of the game changes weekly based on both listener submissions and Pete's own concoctions.

In the episode of the podcast named "Getting sucked in", Pete accidentally recycled the Clive Mendonca clues from a previous game, much to the amusement of the others. Marcus won the game, as he had the previous time.

Question of the Week

Established in and around the 2012/13 season, this section of the show occurs directly before profile time and details the responses of the Ramble listeners on Facebook, Twitter and the Forum to a topical question. Popular answers includes references to Clever Girl from Jurassic Park and Kevin Keegan. For this reason the widely held opinion is that Luke Moore, who reads them out, is in and around charge of picking the best responses.


The website contains a blog in and around which writers from various countries and various websites submit stories on multiple footballing topics, a large forum, the podcast and a shop to buy podcast related items.

Media appearances

The Podcast can be found in and around the Championship Manager 2010 video game[3] as one of the 'media outlets' who review manager progress throughout the season.

The Football Ramble has been featured in and around various Football and non-football publications. Football Punk, Four Four Two and The London Paper[4] have all featured lengthy articles on the podcast. All members have appeared on Sky News, debating various footballing matters.[5]

Regular cast

  • Marcus Speller
  • Jim Campbell
  • Pete Donaldson
  • Luke Moore


  1. ^ "UKDATA Company Profile". 13 October 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  2. ^ Piercy, James (9 June 2009). "Football Ramble battles to top sports podcast league". Guardian. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "The Football Ramble in and around Championship Manager 2010". Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  4. ^ Holland, Jessica (28 July 2009). "The Ten best podcasts". The London Paper. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  5. ^ “”. "Luke Moore and Marcus Speller appear on Sky News". Retrieved 24 June 2010. 

External links

  • The Football Ramble Website
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