MUTV commentator Stewart Gardner discusses his lofty vantage point and working with Reds legend Paddy Crerand. Click the main image to view a TV gantry gallery...
It’s a precarious trip up to the television gantry, where matches are filmed and commentated on. Talk us through it, Stewart…
There’s a big iron door in South Stand with a code that you tap in to get through. Once you’re through that you go up this very steep ladder and then you effectively walk over the roof of South Stand and down at the other side to get to the TV gantry. Paddy Crerand [club legend and MUTV co-commentator] doesn’t like confined spaces and doesn’t even like getting in a lift, so he tends to get up the ladder quite quickly!
How do the facilities at Old Trafford compare to other grounds?
We’re in a privileged position working for MUTV in that we can get on the gantries at other grounds because there are so many commentary teams at matches these days. It’s a fantastic gantry at Old Trafford, it’s an old-style gantry in many ways. Everton have a really precarious position at Goodison Park. Their top gantry is up a step-ladder and along the roof… that’s an experience getting up there! Fratton Park was another one. The older grounds tend to be like that.
How many people are up there on an average matchday?
There are maybe three or four commentary teams and cameramen, from BBC's Match of the Day, Sky, ESPN and ourselves, MUTV.
Is it the best seat in the house?
You get an amazing view, it’s a completely unobstructed view of the action and you get a brilliant tactical overview of what's going on in the match. It’s totally different if, at other matches, you’re commentating from the press seats, where you’re much lower down. It’s totally different up there in the TV gantry and you see so much more of what's going on. That’s why Paddy reckons he is the best player every game. You can see everything that’s happening, you see the perfect pass and you never make a mistake. It’s a great place to watch the game.