How did you get an invite to the big occasion?
We've been working with the PFA since August 2013, producing their 4thePlayer mag (that's sent out to all the pro clubs and players in the country). The Awards issue was always going to be the biggie and we pulled out all the stops with a special issue featuring a gatefold cover of the award winners, plus exclusive interviews and pics.
Any gossip from the night?
He's had quite a bit of previous, but Luis Suarez (who won the Player of the Year award) was a really nice guy and happy to go along with everything we asked of him. Young Player of the Year, Eden Hazard does an impressive 'Blue Steel'. And all the ex-pros – Rob Lee, Paul Walsh, Jason Roberts, etc – clearly enjoy not having training in the morning – they were still hitting the bar at 3.30am. Disappointingly, none of us got off with anyone and sold the story to the tabloids.
Which brave souls were there from Future?
Art director Dermot Rushe, Commercial Director Scott Longstaff and photographer Joby Sessions were there with me, going beyond the call of duty to rub shoulders with football's great and good. We were still taking shots and preparing the official press release for the night gone 11pm, so hard work but it was fascinating to be there.
What else is in the mag?
This issue's big interview is with England captain Steven Gerrard, looking ahead to the World Cup and giving us a real insight into the demands of tournament football. We also talked to Howard Webb who refereed the last World Cup final and is the English official again at Brazil 2014. He's the most down-to-earth bloke you could hope to meet and was even willing to be photographed among the crowds in Manchester airport wearing all his World Cup gear.
What does the client think about the issue?
They're over the moon with it, in footballer's parlance. The brief when we took over 4thePlayer was to modernise the mag and make it relevant to its audience with compelling lifestyle content presented using cutting-edge design and lavish photography. I think the Awards issue is our best yet.