Mark Ogden has travelled a long way since he was hired by his local paper as a trainee sports journalist. He had only just left college and was not really looking for employment but his father had spotted the job opening and the rest, as they say, is history.
Ogden is now the senior football writer with ESPN, one of the most high profile football journalist jobs in the industry and that shows how far he has come since starting his journalistic career with the Rochdale Observer.
Unusually for most football correspondents, Ogden has actually played the game, albeit only for the Rochdale reserves, however, he can boast of playing both alongside and against a young Paul Scholes.
Apart from ESPN, Ogden has worked for a whole host of different publications and broadcasters, including but not limited to The Telegraph, The Independent, Evening Standard, Sydney Morning Herald, ESPN Deportes, New Zealand Herald, Irish Independent, Belfast Telegraph, The South Africa Times.
Ogden features regularly on ESPN's various channels and can easily be found giving his opinion via Youtube on the networks various podcasts.
While he is considered a highly reputable all-round football journalist and not strictly a transfer guru, Ogden can be relied upon to produce credible work and while he may not be in the same category as a Fabrizio Romano when it comes to transfer gossip, he is still one of the few that can be listened to with a sense of belief.
Ogden is more about reporting on games and breaking the latest big headlines as opposed to getting down and dirty with rumours, which makes his transfer reports all the more reliable.
He is not a great fan of Twitter but that has not stopped him attracting 195k followers on the platform, he also has a smallish 4k following on Facebook. It is not an influencers type of following but it does give him a reach of 200k followers per day on his social media network.
Ogden has been rewarded for his work and was the 2013 recipient of the Northern Football Correspondent award back in 2013 when he was employed by the Telegraph, a prestigious award that only reputable journalists have won.
I would say yes, definitely, he is not one for putting out reams of gossip every day but when he does go public with a story it is worth listening to, with Ogden it is a case of quality over quantity.
Just type in Mark Ogden into Youtube and you will be presented with a significant choice of videos that he features in, especially via the ESPN channels.
When Ogden was asked what his most memorable match that he covered it was surprisingly a world cup qualifier, not a final or crucial premier league match but the France v Republic of Ireland 2010 world cup playoff decider.
“For drama, controversy and the rare sense of actually feeling as though you had just witnessed a deception that would rumble on for days and weeks, I’d go for the World Cup play-off between France and the Republic of Ireland in Paris in Nov 2009, when Thierry Henry’s handball ended Irish hopes of a place in South Africa. Henry’s carefully-manufactured good guy image went out of the window that night, but the reaction of France coach Raymond Domenech and his massively smug press officer after the game almost caused a riot among the Irish journalists. There were 20,000 Irish fans in Paris that night, but there wasn’t a hint of trouble, despite the way their team had lost, which is probably the only reason we were able to flag down a taxi at 2am outside the stadium. The trains, obviously, had stopped running before the end of extra-time”
Despite working for a high profile outlet like ESPN and having previously done stints with the high brow Telegraph, Ogden is very defensive of tabloids and what they bring to journalism.
Ogden warns any budding journalists not to fall for all the snobbery about tabloids and claims that some of the guys on desks at the likes of The Sun are ultra-sharp and art are anything but flyer-merchants.
Having watched and read Mark Ogden down the years I find him to be one of the more reputable and credible journalists out there. He is astute in his comments, rarely goes knee jerk with his reactions and does take a bit of a cautious approach.
Ogden does not go in for controversy for the sake of it and is very specific with his reporting. He has come up the hard way starting at a very local level and has earned his way to the top of his profession.
He may not be a go-to guy when it comes to breaking transfer gossip but he certainly is when it comes to corroborating such gossip, as he usually does via his Twitter account.
Check out our other articles in the Top 10 Football Transfer Gurus series:
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