THE IN SQUASH PODCAST - THE STORY SO FAR
this free article from Squash Player 2020 Issue 2, we introduce our new
columnist Gerry Gibson, aka ‘The Pod Father’. He gives us a peek behind
the scenes of his weekly chats with the game’s greatest characters as
host of the popular In Squash podcast.
Upon becoming an avid podcast listener several years ago I was excited
to find a few squash podcasts: Squash Radio had some excellent episodes
and I also stumbled upon James Zug’s excellent Behind The Glass. Before
I knew it though I’d ploughed through everything, with nothing new on
the horizon. It occurred to me that I had the passion, background and
knowledge to fill the void. I felt it would require a weekly commitment
and a desire to develop in the podcast game. The rest is history - 150
episodes and counting.
So, episode one, who would my first guest be? I had a very good idea
from the get-go: Neil Harvey. Neil, former coach of the great Peter
Nicol, is now based near my hometown of Halifax, Canada and has been
coach to my good friend and former teammate Matt Bishop. I couldn’t have
asked for a better first guest, being a huge fan of Nicol and his great
rival of the late 90s and early 2000s, Jonathon Power.
Neil allowed the podcast to hit the ground running by injecting much
needed credibility. My follow-up episodes piggy-backed off episode one
nicely, so I owe a lot to Neil for stepping up.
Many people have asked, who has been your favourite guest? What is the
best episode? Honestly, it’s impossible to choose one or two; although
I’d say there have been landmark episodes.
Episode 70 with Joey Barrington, former pro and PSA Squash TV
commentator, was one that I wanted for a long time, and it couldn’t have
gone any better. It still stands as the podcast’s most popular episode.
Anecdotally, Joey was brilliant. He hadn’t talked much about that period
where he stepped away from the game during those early years of having
to live up to the lofty expectations of being Jonah’s son. Then of
course there was the great insight he was able to offer on Jonah and
The other episode that sticks out for me, though, was episode 100, with
my fellow countryman Power. A listener once told me JP’s name seems to
appear at some point in every episode. No doubt that’s true, and when he
joined me, he was pure JP. He didn’t pull any punches; there was angst,
humour and many an anecdote. In a nutshell it was the JP that we know
and love. The wildly popular (albeit short-lived) Super Squash Saturdays
event with Diego Elias is proof that JP will always remain must-see.
In my younger days we’d cross paths once or twice a year, but I hadn’t
see him since the Quebec Open in 1992. JP indulged my desire to relive
those great memories. After asking if he recalled partaking in the
pre-final hotel party not much more than an hour before the Power v
Jamie Crombie final, he quipped: “I was 17 years old and made
17-year-old decisions back then!”
The podcast tries to keep its ear to the ground and takes pride in
providing intel and fleshing out issues surrounding the game. BBC
reporter Nick Hope appeared on episode 71 following squash’s fifth
failed Olympic bid, laying out a refreshingly objective take which I
feel our squash community needed at the time.
The passing of Andy Bunting, the hugely popular International
Sponsorship Manager for Prince, led to the Neil Harvey testimonial, and
more recently Rob Dinerman gave very useful insight on the Brown varsity
squash programme in the United States.
Obviously, without the mainstream media following or reporting on our
sport, we need to rely on ourselves, and I like to think that I put a
fair bit of thought into topical and timely episodes like these which go
well beyond just reporting the facts.
This year already I have had world champion Tarek Momen, world No.1
Mohamed Elshorbagy and Tournament of Champions winner Camille Serme on
the podcast, as well as some lesser known characters who have their own
fascinating squash stories to tell. Episode 200 is fast approaching, and
you can rest assured I’ve got something fantastic in mind for the double