FORGING a career as a successful media pundit is no easy task with swarms of former players desperate to find their way into a television studio.
But ex-Sunderland skipper Michael Gray has enjoyed a successful transition to the microphone after hanging up his boots last May.
The Echo’s Chris Young spoke to Gray about his transformation from player to radio and television analyst.
ALL an 18-year-old Michael Gray had to worry about was impressing the man in the dugout.
After being handed his Sunderland debut from the bench at Derby County in November 1992, the Castletown teenager pledged to make a sufficient impact on boss Malcolm Crosby to be a first-team regular.
The first of 383 starts for the Black Cats came two weeks later and the pathway towards Gray’s career opened up.
But forging a successful second career 17 years later didn’t have such an obvious progression for Gray.
For starters, there were the likes of former Sunderland team-mates Don Goodman, Kevin Phillips, Don Hutchison and Jason McAteer all vying for television and radio slots.
Then there’s the household names who TV companies cajole into making their way into the studio for a handsome return.
Even for a player like Gray who earned three England caps and played in both the Champions League and the UEFA Cup, there was no substitute for getting a helping hand from someone in the know.
Read more about Michael Gray’s media career in today’s Echo.