Whether you love him or hate him, Lee Ryder’s name is one that goes hand in hand with Newcastle United. The journalist has been covering the team since 2005, and has broken thousands of stories about that club that many readers have enjoyed over the year. Whether you love him, or hate him, it is no secret that Lee is a big part of the NUFC community. He is quick to interact with readers, is always active on social media, and is quick to provide quality content.
With Lee being such a large figure in the Newcastle community, we found it appropriate to give the whole NUFC a chance to get to know Lee better. I asked Lee a series of questions and here is what he said in response.
Elijah Newsome: When did you start writing?
Lee Ryder: I started writing in a journalism sense when I was at college in the mid-90s.
I covered local football games for Whitley Bay in the old Unibond League.
Then I contributed to the student newspaper at UCLAN where I eventually got a role of sports editor.
After Uni I wrote for Scunthorpe Telegraph and Hartlepool Mail before heading to the Chronicle.
I'd done a lot of work experience there at college and eventually got my shot at writing about NUFC.
EN: How did you know you wanted to write for a living?
LR: I just felt it was for me before heading to Uni. I kept getting told it was very hard to break into and I'd never do it. So that motivated me even more.
EN: How did you start writing about Newcastle and were you always a fan?
LR: As I said earlier I had a lot of work experience at the Chron and they challenged me to write a few NUFC articles. I've always followed NUFC because they're my local team.
So to write about them is a dream come true.
EN: What’s the biggest struggle when covering Newcastle?
LR: I never look at things as a struggle. I enjoy the challenge and love the job.
EN: What’ your biggest motivator to continue to write?
LR: I can motivate myself by knowing there's always a big game around the corner. Football has been a big part of my life for so long now.
EN: Newcastle obviously played last season in the Championship after having played in the top flight of English Football for most of their history, What was biggest difference between covering the two?
Facilities can be different at the smaller grounds in the EFL. For example there's a portakabin at Barnsley for a press room, at Arsenal it's a multi-media complex with an auditorium for post-game interviews.
The football standard is different too, NUFC could get away with mistakes in the EFL in the Premier League they have already been punished when switching off.
EN:What is the biggest change Rafa has brought to Newcastle?
LR: Belief. They were drifting before he arrived and he's got the club on the up again.
Are you personally concerned about the current transfer dealings?
I think he needs to be backed in the next window properly. He wasn't in the summer.
EN:As the team stands now, where do you think they will finish?
LR: I have said all along they can finish mid-table.
EN: What’s the biggest improvement Newcastle should make going into next season?
They still need creativity in midfield.
EN: Who would be your dream signing?
LR: A dream signing would be a goals guarantee every week. Sergio Aguero or Lionel Messi might warm SJP on a cold day. The press conference might be quite good too.
EN: Favorite moment at SJP?
LR: So many to pick from. For me beating Man United 5-0 in 1996.
EN: Is there anything else you want to say to your fans ?
LR: The fans will always belong to NUFC. But I can't thank those who take an interest in my articles enough.
We here at CHN hope that this gave you some insight into who Lee Ryder is. You of course can keep with him on Twitter by giving him a follow @lee_ryder and with The Chronicle on their website.