Notts County FC
The Colin Slater Page

Local radio commentator Colin Slater was closely associated with the Magpies for over 60 years and known to many as 'Mr Notts County'. Born in Shipley on 28th February 1934 Colin grew up supporting the two Bradford clubs and began his career in journalism working on newspapers in West Yorkshire, he moved to Nottingham in 1959 to join Nottingham's other evening newspaper The Nottingham Evening News for which he also reported on Notts County affairs in their Saturday publication The Football News (a then more popular rival to The Football Post). His first Notts match was a home victory against Chester on 22nd August 1959.

The Evening News merged with The Evening Post in 1963, Colin continued to report on Notts and played a key role in saving the club from bankruptcy in 1965. In 1968 he joined the original cast of BBC radio Nottingham broadcasters to provide reports on Notts and the County Cricket team, his first audio report on Notts was of a 5-0 defeat at Lincoln City. The radio station later began linking up with Colin during the match itself and he would give updates two or three times each half or when a goal had just been scored. In 1981 he commentated on the victory at Chelsea that secured promotion to the top flight but regular full match coverage would not be a feature on Radio Nottingham until around 1989 - initially of whichever Nottingham team was playing away - and these were often done down a phone line. Colin commentated on both of the successful Wembley play off finals in 1990 and 1991 and the subsequent trips to Old Trafford, Anfield, Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane etc.
At the turn of the millennium there was a "Boycott Radio Nottingham" campaign by County fans after the station's new sports editor took the decision to cover Nottingham Forest playing at home as well as away, thus reducing Colin back to doing reports only. A compromise was eventually reached which saw all of County's matches broadcast in full on the North Notts 95.5 FM frequency (and later on DAB as well). From the 2002/03 season Colin's commentaries could also be heard wordwide via the club website with ex-player Dean Yates joining as the regular summariser*.

Colin was awarded the M.B.E in 2001, not just for his work in radio but also for his other services which included his role as Deputy Chairman of the Nottingham Bench of Magistrates and public relations work for the F.A. On 17th November 2007 he covered his 2,000th match for Radio Nottingham and in November 2011 issued a book, "Tied Up With Notts".
At the age of 83 Colin retired from commentating at the end of season 2016/17. His replacement was announced on 31st May 2017, Charlie Slater (no relation) who, up to this point, had reported for BBC Radio Nottingham on Mansfield Town with limited match-commentary opportunities as well as appearing on local BBC television as a weatherman. Colin passed away on 10th January 2022, Radio Nottingham broadcast a two hour tribute programme that night including live contributions from Les Bradd, Neil Warnock, Tommy Johnson, Craig Short, Mark Stallard, Shaun Derry, Gary Mills. Charlie Slater, Martin Fisher ('Match of the Day' commentator, formerly with Radio Nottingham) and the Forest correspondent Colin Fray.

*Jack Wheeler had summarised at the 1990 Wembley Play Off final. Prior to that, Colin usually commentated alone and continued to do so until around the year 2000, Mick Vinter then had a short spell sat alongside Colin, as did Bobby Tait. Dean Yates then became the regular summariser (when Yates wasn't available Radio Nottingham would turn to Les Bradd, Ian Richardson or Mark Stallard). Dean Yates joined the club staff as a coach towards the end of the 2014/15 season and could no longer continue working for the BBC, Mark Stallard then took over as co-commentator for the game at Yeovil Town on 11/Apr/2015 and continued after Colin Slater retired.

**Radio Nottingham was not the first local radio station in the area. Back on 16th September 1924 the BBC began broadcasting the short-lived "5NG" service from a building on Bridlesmith Gate which later became home to the Dog And Bear public house, the station was closed on 31st October 1928.

Known games that Colin Slater missed before Charlie Slater took over:-
Robin Chipperfield commentated on the 29/Oct/2003 League Cup tie at Chelsea
Andrew James commentated on the 20/Nov/2012 league match at Preston North End
David Jackson commentated on the 16/Feb/2016 trip to Hartlepool United and 17/Sep/2016 visit to Cheltenham Town
After Charlie Slater took over.........
08/Sep/2018 Exeter City (A) - David Jackson
15/Sep/2018 Stevenage(H) - David Jackson
07/Sep/2019 Sutton United (A) - David Jackson
29/Oct/2019 Woking(A) - Jake Garner
28/Dec/2019 Solihull Moors (A) - Jake Garner
27/Nov/2020 Wealdstone (H) - Jake Garner
16/Jan/2020 Stockport County [FA Trophy] (A) - Jake Garner ('off tube' due to lockdown restrictions)

Tied Up With Notts by Colin Slater
Colin's book, published November 2011

Classic Colin
mp3 files

May 1971 - 4th Division Championship Trophy Presentation
Colin Slater describes the moment Notts were crowned Champions

May 1981 - Chelsea 0 Notts County 2
Colin describes Rachid Harkouk's goal that clinched promotion

May 1990 - Colin Slater interviews Neil Warnock
"I used to absolutely hate to come to Meadow Lane"

May 1990 - Notts County 2 Bolton Wanderers 0
The Play off Semi final 2nd leg as heard on Radio Nottingham

May 1990 - Notts County 2 Tranmere Rovers 0
Wembley Play off final highlights

February 1991 - Notts County 1 Manchester City 0
Colin describes the dramatic FA Cup 5th round winner

March 1991 - Tottenham H. 2 Notts County 1
The FA Cup Quarter final goals as seen by Colin Slater

May 1991 - Notts County 1 Middlesbrough 0
Colin describes the goal that took Notts to
their second successive Play off final at Wembley

June 1991 - Notts County 3 Brighton 1
BBC Radio Nottingham Wembley goal action

May 1993 - Notts County 3 Sunderland 1
Radio highlights of Notts avoiding relegation on the final day

February 1994 - Notts County 2 Nottingham Forest 1
Highlights from 'Charlie Palmer day'

Known national BBC radio broadcasts of Notts matches in the 1900's (2nd half commentary)
Sat 12/Mar/1927    Swansea Town 0 Notts County 1 *billed in Radio Times
Sat 03/Dec/1927    Notts County 2 Swansea Town 0 *billed in Radio Times
Sat 14/Dec/1940    Notts County 2 FA XI 1 *wartime friendly billed in Radio Times with Raymond Glendenning commentating
Sat 07/Sep/1946    Cardiff City 2 Notts County 1 *billed in Radio Times with FNS Creek commentating
Sat  01/Jan/1949     Bristol Rovers 3 Notts County 2 *billed in Radio Times with Raymond Glendenning commentating
Sat 16/Sep/1950     Notts County 1 Doncaster Rovers 2 *billed in Radio Times with Raymond Glendenning commentating
Wed 03/Dec/1975  Newcastle United 1 Notts County 0 [League Cup QF] *No documented proof but believed to have been broadcast
Sat 12/May/1984    Notts County 0 Liverpool 0 *a clip of this still exists with Peter Jones commentating
Sun 10/Mar/1991    Tottenham Hotspur 2 Notts County 1 *FA Cup QF, also televised live
Sat 07/Sep/1991     Notts County 1 Liverpool 2 *clip(s) exists with Alan Green commentating (Trevor Brooking was the co-commentator)
Wed 20/Apr/1994   Derby County 1 Notts County 1 *Garry Birtles was the co-commentator

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