James Pearce started off his journalistic career at the age 15 as a trainee with the local newspaper in Bath, England. Today, Pearce is the chief Liverpool correspondent at The Athletic and one of the most renowned and credible journalists currently in circulation.
Almost every top football writer has a love affair with a particular team and the journalist we are covering in this series are no different. John Cross is an avid Arsenal fan, Mark Ogden is a Manchester United supporter and the subject of this article, James Pearce, is a well known follower of Liverpool.
These writers have done the hard graft on a local level writing about their teams, Cross started off in Islington just a stones throw from Highbury, Ogden was not too far outside of Manchester when he started off at Rochdale and Pearce spent 14 years writing for the Liverpool Echo.
There is one massive advantage that these types of journalists have over a lot of their colleagues and that is that they have followed their team at a local level right from the start, which in turn gives them fantastic access to insiders at the respective clubs.
That is what Pearce has done at Liverpool and that gives him the edge on most journalists that write about the Reds.
The father of two has cultivated his reputation carefully and has reached a very wide audience with 628k Twitter followers and 50k on Facebook. Pearce is a prolific user of social media and his posts are highly anticipated, especially on transfer deadline day.
Pearce is open to interacting with his followers on Twitter and engages as much as possible, however, Pearce feels it is also the place that gives birth to many false transfer rumours.
If you want to know what is happening behind the scenes at Anfield as the deadline clock ticks down then Pearce is the man to follow, he rarely gets it wrong and the big networks like Sky Sports and BT Sports are quick to post up his tweets when there is a Liverpool story set to break.
Pearce is very much in demand as a writer and that is why The Athletic, when it was building its presence, chose Pearce to be their Liverpool correspondent, they wanted the best and most knowledgeable in each club position.
There is also integrity and reputation, something that Pearce is very strong on as he explained in an interview.
“Nowadays it's a bit of a minefield when it comes to transfers. There are so many websites now that can just pick a name out of a hat and it will get web traffic. It’s very important to me as a journalist to be regarded as a reliable source of information. It’s great having exclusives and being the first to report something, but you have to make sure you’re right. If you get things wrong, people have long memories!”
Pearce is a rare breed, someone that has credibility and not seen as overly partisan in favour of the Reds, he has an extensive network within the game and around Liverpool in particular and is one of the most trusted club correspondents within the game.
Apart from being a genuine transfer guru Pearce also covers everything else Liverpool related including but not limited to match reports, inside scoops, exclusives and press conferences.
Pearce's connection with Liverpool FC runs deep, he has even ghost written Ian Rush's newspaper column, a player that Pearce idolised. Another Liverpool legend that Pearce ended up working with was Kenny Dalglish when he was the Reds manager and the pair would speak almost daily on the telephone.
Every summer and winter the transfer window throws up thousands of rumours and Pearce was asked out of all the thousands and thousands of rumours that have come your way which one was the most hilarious, to which he responded:
“You know what, there’s been that many! One that I found absolutely hilarious, from about three or four years ago I imagine, was that Liverpool were favourites to sign John O’Shea!"
That alone shows how ridiculous rumours can get and that is why it is imperative that one builds a portfolio of trusted transfer guru's and Pearce is a definite for any football fan out there that wants reliable transfer speculation.
Pearce may not be the best person to turn to when it comes to Arsenal, Juventus or Real Madrid but he is without comparison when it comes to Liverpool and any transfer gossip surrounding them.
Pearce has been at the top of his game for nearly two decades, his knowledge and experience is certainly an asset for all football fans to utilise and while The Athletic, his main employment is behind a paywall, you can still stay up to date with his latest utterings via his social media accounts, primarily Twitter.
Check out our other articles in the Top 10 Football Transfer Gurus series:
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