Up close and personal with the voice of Midlands footballs, Tom Ross
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I am Tom Ross. I was head of sport at Free Radio (formerly BRMB) for 35 years and I can now be heard on national station talkSPORT among other things. I write a weekly column in the Birmingham Mail and spend a fair amount of time talking to football fans on Twitter and Facebook.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
Until three months ago I went to work via the A38 expressway but now have an office at my home in Sutton Coldfield.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
I still come into Birmingham regularly for meetings and covering matches and to be honest it can be a nightmare with the roadworks. The closed access to the M6 at Salford Circus can also be a problem!
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
I love working in my hometown and have been proud to do so for many years – it’s such a vibrant and alive city.
As I am teetotal you can’t beat sitting outside Costa in Brindleyplace on a sunny lunchtime, watching the world go by. For lunch it’s EAT and if more substantial then CIELO’s in Brindleyplace.
There’s a park next door to my house so I often walk around there to pump the heart and to get some fresh air and Sutton Park is just down the road. I remember our many BRMB Party in the Park concerts at Cannon Hill too – who can forget when Lionel Richie turned up?
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
This will sound trite but I genuinely love our city. I grew up in the inner city slums of the 50s around Summer Lane and New John Street West – and I’m proud to call Birmingham home. And the people are proper.
Sometimes a Diet Coke at All Bar One or Pitcher and Piano in Brindleyplace or out and about chatting to football fans at various events.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
Complete the road works so that people don’t take hours to get in and out of the city. The city centre beggars and preachers issue needs to be addressed. Broad Street needs to be classier with the over-inebriated dealt with as it can be intimidating for visitors. I would like to see the whole city marketed better as we have some wonderful places to visit, be it for a meal or a drink.
…AND THE FOOTBALL?
The area is in the doldrums at the moment but there is a case for optimism with new Chinese owners at Villa and West Brom and new Chinese owners at Blues also set to be confirmed. We need honest owners who care about the supporters, not just the bottom line, and who are prepared to invest and bring some pride back to the region. And, more affordable ticket prices please…