TattooedFootball Boss Talks Yoda, SSN Girl & Fuckwitery

Luke is the Chief Editor of @false10, Editor in Chief and co-founder of @_tattooedfball and writer for @7cantonas. He also gave a young writer called Darren at SweetFA his first chance to write about football for the public domain, which went on to become 5 articles that were published on TattooedFootball in 2012.

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I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

When I was young you get it was screenplays for which I envisaged making
with a string of big name film stars. I then got older and ditched
dreams of being Orson Welles for dreams of being the next great
novelist in the line of Hunter S. Thompson, Ernest Hemingway and Brett
Easton Ellis. That didn’t actually pan out how I thought it would.

However, when I was 15, I did work experience at the local newspaper
and worked on the Sports Desk.

After seeing the tired, worn out faces around me I knew that print
journalism wasn’t for me but the field they worked in was exactly what
I was looking for. Some of them actually got paid to go and watch
football! Imagine that!

Fast forward a few years. I was on Twitter one day when I noticed a
tweet from @false10, a Guardian 100 football blog, saying they were
looking for writers.

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I jumped at the chance and applied straight away.

I didn’t expect to hear anything back but was pleasantly surprised
when the brains behind False10, Yolkie (this man is now my Yoda by the
way and to whom I owe a great deal), got in touch asking me to send
something across.

I quickly wrote an article on how, thanks to Football Manager,
everybody seems to think they have what it takes to a real manager
but, also, how positive the game has been in expanding our knowledge
of players from around the world.

Not very original but it seemed to go down well.

I started writing about 1-2 pieces a month for the site and I was more
than happy. In my mind I was Norman Mailer for a digital, albeit
smaller, world.

It was at around this time that @scrumpymoet started pestering me to
start my own website.

I resisted at first because I’ve always thought that when you turn the
thing you love doing into a job, you quickly stop loving it (I still
believe this to be true but it all depends on how you handle it).

His badgering continued for a few weeks until he asked me, with me
thinking it was hypothetical, “If you did start a football site, what
would you cal it?” I thought about it for a bit and answered,
“TattooedFootball”.

I’m still not entirely sure why I answered with that but I can only
assume that it’s got a lot to do with what my Nan calls, my “unhealthy
obsession with tattoos”

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Before you could say “I’m still not doing it” he had registered the
domain name and started designing the site!

So, that’s how TattooedFootball started. Andrews’ idea, my name and,
basically, me not really having any say in it. I was bullied into it.
For the record Andrew was, as he annoyingly is in almost everything,
100% right and it was one of the best things we could have done. He’s
another person to whom I owe an awful lot. If Yolkie is my Yoda,
Andrew is my Obi Wan.

It’s now over a year since we started the site and it’s gone from
strength to strength. We’ve got a dedicated team of contributors who
deserve so much credit for helping the site grow into what it is
today, Jack Crosswell and Chris Etchingham in particular who have both
been more help than I think they both realise. We’ve got Chief
Writers, a PR and Marketing Manager, a Production Editor and a Deputy
Editor who all play a huge part in running the site. We’re like
NewsCorp but with less phone hacking and fuckwitery (I know it’s not a
word but I’m claiming it).

We’ve come a long way since getting banned on Twitter for sending out
too many links in 24 hours. Basically they thought we were spamming
celebrities whilst we argued we were just trying to get our name out
there. All the pestering worked in the end though as Hayley McQueen,
the First Lady of TattooedFootball, tweeted about us and everything
went crazy. She helped start the ball rolling down the hill and we’ve
long since stopped trying to control it.

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About 5 months into running TattooedFootball I spoke to Yolkie and he
asked me if I would like to become Chief Editor of False10. To say I
jumped at the chance doesn’t do it justice. I grabbed the chance by
the ears, French kissed it before making passionate love to it comes a
bit closer.

So that’s basically it.

In the past year I have interviewed Sir Geoff Hurst, Jeff Stelling,
Sir Steve Redgrave, Tony Fernandes as well as many more.

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I contributed articles to Ian Wrights’ Rock’n’Roll football show on Absolute Radio during the Euros. I’ve spoken to many, many ex players. Some doors
have been opened to me, others I’ve kicked it. I’ve been invited to
places and events I never thought I would be. It’s been, to put it
bluntly, fucking mental and I’ve loved every second of it.

False10 is going well with more articles and interviews than ever
(I’ve got big plans for it so keep an eye out) and on 12/12/12 we
relaunch TattooedFootball.

The plan is to change the face of football websites. You’ve never seen
anything like us.

See you on 12/12/12 www.TattooedFootball.com

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