THREE presenters from one of the region’s most listened to football phone-ins have announced they have sealed a transfer to a community radio station in Northumberland.
The “three legends” - a trio made up of former Toon forward Malcolm MacDonald, Boro forward Bernie Slaven and Sunderland star Micky Horsewill - will broadcast their sports show on Koast Radio, after being axed suddenly by Real Radio last week after more than 14 years.
The show sees the Legends debate transfer speculation, talk about players at each of their former clubs and share their memories about their teams, while taking calls from listeners who want to offer their opinions.
Former Middlesbrough striker Bernie Slaven, who was presented to the media at a press conference at Longhirst Golf Club on Wednesday, said: “To be told the news the contract was being terminated was a wrench.
“The thing was, Koast Radio were forthright enough to ask us and we all loved the idea of it. I was personally excited and hopefully down the line, the show will be back on track.
“Koast Radio has given us a platform to build on it’s helping the community too.
“This is something totally different, it’s a new challenge and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The station said that Malcolm MacDonald and Micky Horsewill were unavailable to attend the press conference due to ongoing negotiations over their Real Radio contracts.
Station director Vicky Oakley said: “We’re going to start it a week on Monday with Bernie and some guest presenters and we’re going to campaign to get the other two legends released from their contracts as quickly as possible because they’re a threesome and they need to be together.
“It really is a case of if you don’t ask you don’t get.
“I was listening when it was announced the legends were finishing and I got in touch with Micky and said if you’re interested, get in touch.
“I never thought in a million years we’d pull it off, it’s quite a coup for us and the guys have been good enough to do it for free until we can get some kind of sponsorship deal in place.”
Koast Radio is a community radio station that currently broadcasts via the internet and is based at Longhirst Hall, near Morpeth.
It’s hoped the trio will be in the studio there, broadcasting their show to both new and old listeners on weeknights from 6pm, although details are still being finalised. The Legends are aiming to record their first session before the football season gets underway on August 18.
Koast Radio are in the process of obtaining a license to broadcast on FM and believe the three legends will play a big part in making this happen.
Real Radio said in a statement that social networking sites had contributed to the decision to blow the final whistle on the show and that they planned to replace it with music to “aid the drive home.”
Click on the video player above to watch a video of the press conference...