Cheek! BBC Tell Leeds Legend Noel Whelan to Tone Down Goal Celebrations – by Rob Atkinson

Noel Whelan – told by BBC to tone it down

A prominent feature of the radio coverage Leeds United have enjoyed over the past several years has been the joyously raucous goal celebrations of former United player Noel Whelan, as he greeted each goal the Whites have scored with what has become his signature – GET IIIIINNNNNNN!!! – coming at us over the airwaves courtesy of BBC Radio Leeds.

But now, alas, it seems that Whelan is being forced to tone down his celebrations for fear of upsetting other radio stations, some of whom have complained about the noise and passion of Noel’s on-air outbursts. This po-faced attitude seems to be getting more and more common among the various broadcasters that cover our national game – they seem to picture us all sitting at home, covering our ears for fear of hearing a naughty word or an over-exuberant ejaculation, if I may use that hijacked word in its original sense. I’ve had cause myself to rant at Sky TV for frequent apologies during their otherwise half-decent coverage. “Sorry if you heard any bad language there” a seemingly shocked commentator will intone during some passionate encounter, while over on Channel 4, other passionate encounters will be accompanied by wall-to-wall effing and jeffing, without so much as a “by your leave”. It’s odd, and a bit annoying – and now it appears to threaten the natural partisanship of one of our own.

Noel, with whom I’ve had the privilege of the odd chat now and then, seems to be taking his admonition philosophically, and has confirmed he’ll be winding down the volume and the passion “from this Saturday”, though whether there’ll be much cause for any such celebrations against City has to be doubtful. On the other hand, if there was to be a Patrick Hat-trick to make our Bam Bam Bamford the first Leeds player to score in four consecutive Premier League games, it’s difficult to see how Mr Whelan could restrain himself. These things are spontaneous and visceral, after all; perhaps Popey will be standing by with a gag, or maybe a Leeds branded non-medical face mask, just to avoid giving offence to the delicate sensibilities of those “other radio stations”.

It really is such a daft situation, and those within the media and indeed the game itself should be wary of draining away what passion and enthusiasm remains in our football during these months of crowdless competition. It appears they’d rather rely upon canned cheering, some of which starts and then abruptly cuts off if there’s a near miss, depending on the skill of the person on the button. Surely that bizarre phenomenon can’t really be preferable to a bit of honest, gutsy over-celebration from a guy who bleeds white, yellow and blue? (Or maybe even plum or wine, given our new third kit).

It’s a funny old game, alright. But I’m not sure I’m laughing too much right now. Far be it from me to proffer advice to so august an institution as the BBC – but, if I could make just one small suggestion: why don’t they belt up and mind their own business?

Marching On Together

15 responses to “Cheek! BBC Tell Leeds Legend Noel Whelan to Tone Down Goal Celebrations – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Steve Clark

    All too often clubs and broadcasters seem obsessed with trying to ‘stage manage’ the atmosphere inside grounds. The likes of Sky talk about ‘passion’ without having any idea what this is about with football supporters.Atmosphere at a ground is not something that can be turned on and off as and when clubs and broadcasters desire. Artificial cheering over the tannoy is no substitute for real atmosphere. I recently watched Newcastle united v Brighton on television. Newcastle lost 3-0 at home; if fans had been allowed into the ground there would have been chants of ‘Ashley Out’. The tannoy at Newcastle doesn’t have this record to play at a game.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve Atkinson

    What the hell is going on in this bloody world 🙄🙄… I’d tell em to stick it right up their……..


  3. Ian StJohn

    I am surprised you say he will be toning it down from this Saturday thereon; I had noticed that this season’s commentary outbursts from Noel were a little more subdued anyway so he had probably been told already by the BBC Fuddies to stop shouting ‘Get in’ otherwise ‘Get out’.
    It is indeed a funny ol’ game, ya kill me Greavsie.


  4. Gordon Baxendale.

    Very very accurate and precise, thanks and MOT. Keep the laughs coming.


  5. Michael Dyson.

    It’s a shame there won’t be a crowd to let sky know what we think of them. I love Noel’s get ins. Them stuck up idiots who don’t like his celebrations can kiss my rear end! Not since the reactions of Bryn Law have we been able to enjoy such reactions.


  6. Uncle Dave

    I don’t know why? but over the years, i’ve got the impression ( on match of the day, BBC ) that Gary Lineker has a soft spot for Leicester city, Ian Wright is a little fond of Arsenal and with Alan Shearer?, there’s no grey area. Just black and white. I don’t know why I get this feeling? Even the prophet Garth Crooks has been known to stand on a beech ball, doing his best impression of Norman Collier. Its just the BBC, not liking Leeds being in the Prem and on their Saturday night crown jewel. We will always be a fly in the ointment, an uninvited guest as far as the BBC is concerned. Pity they didn’t intervene with behaviour issues when they employed the likes of Jimmy Saville and Rolf Harris?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rob,
    This sort of attitude towards LUFC from the BBC is, of course, nothing new. In their otherwise excellent 10-part series “Match of the 70s”, aired around 1995, their overt anti-Leeds stance was, to put it mildly, pretty blatant. So much for dear old Auntie Beeb’s supposed ‘impartiality”!


  8. haworthwhite

    Whelan’s ‘get in’ is infantile! Enthusiasm is needed but Noel is way over the top and I reach for the off button as soon as we score.
    Grow up, Noel!


  9. howard mackey

    I live in an area that has poor reception for mobile phones ,sky and radio the only place that i can get reception for Radio Leeds on match day is in my garage at the bottom of the garden, and because i use hearing aids i welcome Noel and his loud celebrations keep it up Noel….GET IIIIINNNNNNN !!! . Best wishes everyone, H .M.O.T.


  10. Noel goal celebrations may be a little over the top, but each to their own.

    Not a legend for me though.


  11. Michael Dyson.

    What a misery Howarthwhite is! You must prefer the sanitised version eh? He’s already got in trouble for his Brighton backs to the wall remark with BBC. Someone has it in for poor old Noel.


Leave a Reply - Publication at Site owner's Discretion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.