I spoke to young Fleetwood supporter and football vlogger Ben Knapman (@Benknappy) about his beloved Fleetwood Town, and of course general musings about his ever-growing YouTube channel.
Hi Ben, first of all I’d like to ask you, why do you support Fleetwood Town FC?
“I was about 8 years old, and a footballer called Jamie Milligan gave me complimentary tickets to a game. It was against Preston North End and we drew 0-0. After that, I kept attending games until in 2011, I finally got my first season ticket. So I’d say it’s down to Milligan who was trying to get more kids to go to Fleetwood games, and it worked with me.”
Jamie Milligan played for and captained The Cod Army between 2005-2013, scoring 42 goals in the process.
After a solid start to the season with a 2-0 win over Rotherham and 1-0 win away at Northampton Town, has your initial prediction of a 10th placed finish for Fleetwood changed?
“My predictions haven’t changed. I think you get a real feel for where you’re going to finish after the Christmas period. I still think we’ll finish around 10th. Moreover, against Northampton we did actually struggle to score. I think we’ve played two mid-table sides at the minute, the real tests will come when we play teams like Blackburn Rovers and Wigan.”
A Conor McAleny brace ensured Fleetwood were victorious over Rotherham on the opening day, while Devante Cole’s 75th minute strike ensured Fleetwood gained all three points fromThe Cobblers on Saturday.
Who will be Fleetwood’s key player this season?
“I can’t pick one but I’ll name two, these two are quality every week. Alex Cairns our goalkeeper is the first, I mean look at his triple save yesterday! My second choice is Kyle Dempsey, our number eight. He runs things in midfield and I think he got 9 assists last year!”
So let’s talk about your YouTube. What do you like the most about YouTube?
“I like the fact you can broadcast your thoughts and be yourself, I think other YouTubers are always better when they’re themselves on videos too. I love that I can share my experiences from Fleetwood games with other Fleetwood or football fans, and I feel that you can meet a load of good people through YouTube. I also enjoy watching my memories back of the games I’ve attended.”
The 15 year-old has over 1200 subscribers on YouTube. Ben vlogs the Fleetwood Town games that he attends, in addition to other football related videos.
Do you have a favourite video on your channel?
“This is a very hard question! It’s going to be a Fleetwood vlog… I’ve made so many of these! *after naming a few of his videos, Ben finally enthuses:* I think the Bristol City video is my favourite because the atmosphere that day was immense. We didn’t stop chanting ‘red and white army’ throughout the whole game, and we deserved to equalise. That day made me proud!”
Finally, what are your aspirations for your YouTube channel?
“Obviously now it’s just a hobby, but I’d like to make a career out of it when I’m older!”
Ben, who was also named as Fleetwood’s ‘Fan of the year’, recently raised over £700 for The Bradley Lowery Foundation. He did this with a charity walk prior to Fleetwood’s pre-season game with Bolton Wanderers. Well done Ben!
My thanks go to Ben for taking the time to talk to me. Check out his YouTube channel here.
Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgeS_Sport