George Caulkin has been reporting on North East football in England for over two decades and is a unique breed of journalist that is comfortable following more than one team, in fact, he has no issue wanting the best for teams that are regarded as bitter rivals.
Caulkin has a long and varied career, he started off, as most journalists do, at a local paper before he decided to go the freelance route, this enabled him to do some work for the likes of the Guardian and Observer before his big break came at the Times in 1998.
The actual breakthrough for Caulkin came when he was asked to cover a single game for the Times and he evidently did such a good job that he ended up employed by the renowned publication for the next 21 years.
Caulkin, like so many other prominent football journalists was then poached by the Athletic where he now plies his trade.
He freely admits that he grew up a Newcastle United fan but has since evolved into a more regional football fan and wants Sunderland and Middlesbrough to succeed as much as he does Newcastle United.
Caulkin is very opinionated and has no time for the way some of the North East clubs are run, in particular Newcastle and Sunderland and does not hesitate to say so but at the same time, he despises writing negative articles about the clubs in his region.
It is not all negative, he does recognise quality ownership as is the case with Middlesbrough but it is the fans that he has the most admiration for.
The North East teams have massive crowds despite years of mediocrity and appalling football and yet the fans still turn up week in week out regardless of what division the teams are in, something that he respects but is also baffled by.
Caulkin is definitely one of the go to men when it comes to football in the North East, he has a decent following on Twitter with over 85k followers and is a must follow in any transfer window, especially if you do not want a load of bull, but rather quality info without any of the sensationalism that tabloids like to spout.
You do not get poached by The Athletic if you are not a highly respected journalist and you certainly do not hold a job down at the Times for over two decades unless your work is of the highest quality.
Caulkin may not report on the traditionally romantic teams like Liverpool or Man Utd but that does not mean that what he does report on is not of value, it is and he is far more reliable than most correspondents. Put it this way, if Newcastle United was linked with a Liverpool player or visa versa you would be far better off checking with him than The Sun or Mirror.
Because of the clubs that Caulkin reports on, Middlesbrough apart, access to the clubs is limited, it is well known that the so called big North East clubs are hostile to the media, which has further enhanced George's reputation. You see, they do not like in depth accurate reporting and that is what Caulkin dishes up on a consistent basis.
Caulkin does occasionally cover football outside of the North East, well, he did at the Times and loves reporting on grass root football, in fact, some of his most enjoyable moments have been watching football in the lower divisions. This is probably the consequence of reporting on under performing high profile teams for such a long time.
Caulkin comes across as one that has very little time for fools and dreamers, he seems to be one that is a straight talker and expects the same in return and anyone following him on social media or reading his articles cannot fail to notice his style of reporting.
Any list of credible and respected journalists must obviously include those with inside information on the biggest clubs on the planet but you cannot ignore those that report on teams that have the capability of one day fulfilling that promise and Caulkin is perfectly placed to deliver on those teams.
Caulkin is also a patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and that further underlines the esteem he is held in, they would hardly allow a tabloid journalist that puts out drivel and fake news all day to represent such a legend, especially in the North East of England.
George Caulkin is a serious, highly respected and immensely experienced journalist and he deserves his place on the list of football transfer gurus. He is down to earth and passionate about football from the lowest levels to the very highest and most importantly, he can be trusted. A rare commodity these days.
Check out our other articles in the Top 10 Football Transfer Gurus series:
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