Ian McGarry 1969-2022
The news of Ian McGarry’s death brought a tear to my eye and just as quickly a smile remembering some of the good chats and laughs I had in his company over the years.
Fifty-three is no age to die and I am gutted he is gone. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends at this terrible time.
He was a Lanarkshire boy, and I took great pleasure in trying to annoy him about his school St Aidan’s in Wishaw always losing to Our Lady’s High school at football.
‘We used to batter you playing with our second team!’ He just used to laugh, loving the fact that on his travels he could walk in to a press room miles from home and see one of the troops from his old stomping ground smiling back at him.
In the mad world of journalism and broadcasting, making a living is tough, but with good contacts, hard work and a warm personality you can rise above the mediocrity. That was Ian McGarry.
I had nothing but pride and admiration seeing him on Sky Sports, listening to him on Five live at the BBC or reading his exclusives in the Daily Mail or the Sun.
He was a boy from the west of Scotland doing well down south and he never forgot his roots.
I asked him if he would come on our football show on a regular basis to talk mainly about English football, but to chip in with his opinion on the madness of Celtic and Rangers.
He didn’t hesitate to say yes, and he loved the banter as we speculated on how much his furniture cost in the background in his zoom call to us on the show.
When I was heading down to London for a week of TV shows ahead of the England v Scotland World cup qualifier in November 2016, I didn’t hesitate to call Ian and ask if he would be a guest on the programme.
He not only said yes, but offered to help me get other guests for the other days we were broadcasting. That tells you all you need to know about the way his mind worked and the man he was.
Ian had many great friends in the industry, I was just one of the lucky ones he would answer the phone to from home.
I will never forget his generosity in helping me, his intelligence talking about the beautiful game and that devilment in his smile as he greeted me with the same opening line at any stadium in the UK ‘Alright Pedro, great to see you, how’s it going?’
Rest in peace Ian, you will be missed.