Tom Allen: ‘Nobody should be made to feel that football isn’t for them’

The comedian and TV host talks about his eye-catching punditry stint for Soccer Saturday and how it showed him attending a live game can and should be for everyone

“I’m fascinated by the way Americans want to take over English football and always think they must get such a shock when they see what it’s actually like,” Tom Allen says with a chuckle. “No, I’m being churlish. I just mean how the celebrations here are quite low-key and not as theatrical as they are in American sports. Like West Ham and the blowing bubbles song, which as I’m sure you know has that line about your dreams fading and dying … it’s a bit different to pompom dancers and marching bands, isn’t it?”

Allen chuckles again and so do I during an interview that has gone on longer than either of us intended. But then they do say time flies when you’re having fun and, from my point of view at least, that has undoubtedly been the case. Allen has made for terrifically engaging company while speaking about football, a topic that by his own admission he knows little about but in his own unique way has become a spokesman for.

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