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PA Man Chandler Hangs Up Mic
Wednesday, 9th Jun 2021 13:05

Town’s long-serving PA man Rob Chandler has revealed he will not be behind the Portman Road microphone next season and instead will be joining the ranks of the Blues' season ticket holders.

Chandler, whose day job is presenting the afternoon show on Greatest Hits Radio, broadcasting to Suffolk, Norfolk and North Essex, started the role in the 1996/97 season when he was one of three PA men rotating the role before then-chairman David Sheepshanks gave him the job on his own ahead of the following campaign.

He says hanging up his mic has been something he’s been thinking about since the latter stages of 2019/20.

“At the end of the season before last I missed several games and I was getting a bit disillusioned with it. Not the job so much as the team’s performance really,” he admitted.

“And living up here [in Norwich] as I do, it’s a long way to travel, a long way to travel just to be disappointed, not enjoy the football, the expenditure and all the rest of it.

“With the Covid thing, I said to the guys there that maybe it was a good idea if I sat that the 2020/21 season out because Foz [Stephen Foster] was there on the spot willing to come in and do it voluntarily, not too much pressure really because there wasn’t all the pre-match, the half-time stuff, it was just very basic. Foz was happy, I guess he could see the games and keep his hand in.

“We kind of left the door open really, ‘I’ll take a season out and we’ll see what happens in the future’.

“But then I didn’t have any contact from the club, I know there are more important things than the PA announcer, all these new execs coming in, a new manager, signing new players, that’s top priority, I’m some way down the list of priorities.

“I’ve been thinking about it anyway and I suppose the club didn’t come to me and say ‘do you fancy coming back?’.

“There’s going to be a great atmosphere, big crowds, tickets were selling and I said to the other half, ‘what do you think? Shall we get season tickets, sit with my brother up in the top of the Sir Bobby?’. She said she’d leave it up to me.

“And I thought that there’s a well of euphoria sweeping through the fanbase at the moment, I quite fancy being a part of that.

“I’ll probably sit there thinking that that should be me interviewing Ed Sheeran and announcing all these goals, riding the crest of a wave.

“No regrets, I’ve had a good run, lots of great times, all the play-off failures and then the play-off success, being on the mic at Wembley, the Joe Royle days and all the rest of it.

“I’m just looking forward to it. It’ll be lovely to come on the train, have a meal in town, saunter down to the ground, assuming we’re allowed back in come August, and just enjoying the games. Hopefully enjoy the games anyway.

“And hand the mic over to somebody else. They’ll probably keep Foz, I would think. He knows the job, he knows the club, people know his voice. That’s the way I would imagine it.”

Since his announcement on social media last night, Chandler has received numerous tributes from fans, while a thank-you thread has been posted on the TWTD Forum.

“It’s lovely, I got quite emotional reading a lot of those comments,” he said. “I suppose people remember me not just for the football aspect and a shared passion and all the good games, but some of the laughs we used to have, some of the announcements.

“The Kieron Dyer’s mum announcement, the night when we were calling for some guy to be the fourth official, some fun with the Dutch fans when they came over for that pre-season friendly that time.

“Lots of stuff like that as well, which is equally as pleasing, to be honest with you.

“I’ve always seen myself as a bit of a joker, I do enjoy making people laugh. Standing there on the pitch making a comment and hearing that laughter from the crowd, that gave me as much pleasure as any other aspect of the job. Good times.”

Photos: Matchday Images/Contributed

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clive_baker added 13:11 - Jun 9
Well done Rob. He really is part of the PR furniture, and there's now a generation of Town fans who won't remember the matchday experience pre Mr Chandler, myself included. A great shift, and someone who has done a brilliant job in the role. I have to say, having been to many an away ground in my time there are very few that strike the right tone, but Rob is one of them and one of the absolute best in the business.

Hopefully he can enjoy cheering the team on from the stands now.

Timefliesbyintheblue added 13:22 - Jun 9
Whow, you were part of the furniture Rob, and you will be sorely missed. You are up there with 'Swede' as just one of those guys that we took for granted I guess.
Thank you for the entertainment, and you know what, your family can be proud that you will be part of ITFC folklore. All the best folk are in Sir Bobby Upper - welcome aboard, we'll enjoy the ride together.

Edmundo added 13:26 - Jun 9
Rob's commentaries of the kids' penalty shootouts back in the day were brilliiant: hopefully we get more of those to inspire the next generation, and test out the new announcer's ability too!

itsonlyme added 13:30 - Jun 9
Thanks Rob, you were one of the best in the whole league. Your sense of humour is second to none. I’ve been going to PR since the early sixties and you’ve been the best PA announcer ever. Hope to shake your hand in Sir Bobby Robson upper soon.

BaddowBlue1 added 13:43 - Jun 9
Going to Portman Road will not be the same without you doing the PR, but thank you for making it fun. Will just have to listen to you on your afternoon slot on GHR smiling in the knowledge you are Town fan. Enjoy your well earnt retirement Rob!!!!

docsavage52 added 13:45 - Jun 9
Thanks Rob, must say games didn’t seem the same if you were not there announcing, some of the people who have stood on for you have really no idea. Also a man from “Up the road” having to listen to those bird follows up there must have been difficult at times, I’m from North Suffolk to know how it feels. Hope to see you in the SBR stand cheering.

hadleighboyblue added 13:51 - Jun 9
Rob will be greatly missed , he had just the right element of fun without being OTT .

Finding a replacement won't be easy ......of the names mentioned , I would say Mark Murphy would be ideal .

runaround added 13:52 - Jun 9
Good luck Rob. His shoes will be big ones to fill

Orraman added 13:52 - Jun 9
You will be missed Rob. Although only a small part of the match day experience your presentation and humour was all part of the fun. I remember well your plea for Kieran’s mum to go to the dressing room to comfort her son.
In 2019/20 there was some guy who stood in once or twice and he seemed to think that shouting loud made for exciting presentation. Don’t know who he was but in my opinion he certainly failed the audition. Would be happy to see Town fan Foz get the job - good local knowledge and expert presentation style

Cookycrew added 14:00 - Jun 9
Good Luck Rob, you will always be the uplifting positive 'Fans' voice of ITFC. (Not the negative commentator/voice of BBC Suffolk). I can understand your reasons, but so glad you will be 'with us' chanting in the ground....hopefully a more enjoyable style of football & better atmosphere. I look forward to you winding up our NARRICH brethren in a year/two.

Billybobblue added 14:02 - Jun 9
Well done Rob, always enjoyed the halftime games and poking fun at just the right level not to offend anyone - even when the scum were in town.
You will be missed, but like most on here lets hope next seasons matches will be alot more enjoyable to watch.
Best of luck. COYB

Tufty added 14:02 - Jun 9
Good luck in whatever you do from now on.
Natural on the mic and got us up for it especially before play off games.
Will be missed but welcome to the faithful.

starofanglia added 14:13 - Jun 9
Best wishes Rob and thanks for your great work over the years.
Unfortunately "There’s going to be a great atmosphere" and Stephen Foster don't quite go together.
COYB and Up The Witches.

Bluearmy71 added 14:25 - Jun 9
As long as its not that awful darts commentator or the one who wore skinny jeans when he didn't quite have the figure for them other than his awful mic interaction ie its funny to put of the penalty takers during the half time things!

Good luck Rob, your quick wit out there will be missed.........yano unless someone funnier comes along lol..........joking aside enjoy being up in the stands and all the best for the future!

Bluefish11 added 14:37 - Jun 9
Hey Rob, I had to reset my login info to post this as I have not commented for 6 months+ (read it everyday of course) BUT that is because I too have been hacked off, frustrated, disappointed etc. HOWEVER having been to 40+ away grounds pre covid, I have to say that you are one of the best at the job in the country. I would just say, pause your resignation for 12 months, be part of what is about to be a promotion year, come back, motivate and lead the fans in pre-match build up, it could be a very exciting year and it would be a shame for you to miss it. Everyone is saying good things about you. (My personal fav is when you innocently read a birthday shout out for Mike Hunt a couple of years ago!) We need everything to work for us this year, and you are part of that! Stick at it.

SickParrot added 14:46 - Jun 9
Rob did a brilliant job and he will be missed. Sounds like he might have come back if asked so hope he is happy to sit in the stands. We were friends at school and I always remember that the careers master mocked Rob when he said he was wanted to be a DJ!

Farmerpiles added 15:09 - Jun 9
You will be greatly missed Sir. The new owners first (and only mistake i hope) in not keeping you on board as PA , you made rain soaked miserable performances much more bearable with your half time banter with fans, crossbar challenges etc etc. If as we hope this club takes off youd be the ideal man to contribute to hopefully some fantastic atmospheres. Thank you for all of it 👏

SouperJim added 15:10 - Jun 9
I'm a bit gutted about this to be honest. Clearly I'm a little biased, but I've not experienced another PA person as good at what they do as Rob, many are pretty awful and lifeless. Not meaning to be hard on Stephen Foster, but he's nowhere near as good as Rob. It's tough to measure, but Rob has boosted my enjoyment of going to Portman Road over the last 20+ years considerably.

Please stay.

istanblue added 15:12 - Jun 9
This is seriously sad news. Rob will always be the voice of Portman Road to me. Is there any chance he can reconsider his decision as ''Foz'' is quite dull in comparison?

CraigEdwards added 15:33 - Jun 9
Absolute legend rob you will be missed on the mic but back where you belong


Blocker123 added 15:51 - Jun 9
You’ll be missed. Enjoy just turning up and watching being a fan. Well done good sir!👏👏👏

TractorRoyNo1 added 16:56 - Jun 9
Happy memories of being in the South Stand at Cabbage Road after a Town win and Rob entertaining the crowd.

cazwells1 added 17:48 - Jun 9
Thanks Rob for all you have done! Oh and also for the hug after the Bolton game when we got to play off final after we all ran on pitch! I am sure you had many that day! Coyb!

Saxonblue74 added 18:15 - Jun 9
Could I propose Bettyblue or Monkey Alan as successor?

jalapenosteve added 20:30 - Jun 9
Thank you and a lovely fella Rob but...Halejulah!! Of all the PA's in all the grounds I've been to, Rob's ability to rouse the crowd when it matters has been pretty underwhelming for many seasons.
We need a pro PA who can get people off their seats, help create an atmosphere. To make people snigger with little funnies doesn't cut it anymore.

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