‘Antti Niemi?  He hasn’t finished, he’s only 28!’  – remembering the greatest phone-in radio of all time

‘Antti Niemi? He hasn’t finished, he’s only 28!’ – remembering the greatest phone-in radio of all time

‘Antti Niemi?  He hasn’t finished, he’s only 28!’  – remembering the greatest phone-in radio of all time

It remains one of the most iconic radio call-to-call moments of all time.

In 2002, just hours after Scotland manager Craig Brown announced his squad for the upcoming international break, an avid Hearts fan called talkSPORT to reveal his fury at goalkeeper Antti Niemi being overlooked by the national team.

The only problem? Hearts keeper Antti Niemi was a seasoned Finnish international.

Former Manchester United and Scotland defender Arthur Albiston, who hosted the radio show, had to break the news to the confused fan live on air and it creates incredible entertainment. Take a look at the clip above.

If you are unable to watch the YouTube video above for some reason, here is the full transcript of this icon talkSPORT moment.

Caller: I was wondering about the selection of goalkeepers for the Scotland team, and he must know Hearts have a good squad, we have Colin Cameron in the squad and Steven Pressley but I just don’t know why , for at least three seasons he was ignoring Antti Niemi.

Caller: Still! I don’t know why it doesn’t get game?

Albiston: …for Scotland?

Albiston: … he comes from Finland.

Caller: He has not finished, he is only 28 years old!

Albiston: … not finishedhe’s from Finland.

Caller: What do you mean?

Albiston: His nationality is Finnish.

Caller: He’s not Scottish?

Caller: Ohhh, I thought he was Scottish!

In 2021, the former Rangers, Hearts, Southampton and Fulham shot-stopper had his say on the viral radio moment that never seems to go away, admitting he’s sent it “a thousand times”.

“It was funny, of course it was funny, but I kind of thought it had to be a sell-out,” he said in an interview with CoffeeFriend.co.uk.

“I thought, ‘This can’t be serious. Whoever was presenting the show, I thought, ‘Don’t argue with him, he’s obviously not serious.’

“A lot of people bought it, and I still get messages every year from people saying, ‘Have you heard of that?’

“Yes, like a thousand times and it’s not funny anymore!”

Niemi also revealed he was then offered the chance to speak to the man who made the call when he returned to Scotland years later.

“I actually went there and we spent Christmas a few years ago with a family in Edinburgh and I went to a Hearts game,” said Niemi, who has worked as a goalkeeper coach since. he quit playing in 2010.

“A guy came up to me before the game and said, ‘Did you hear about that call?’ And I said, ‘Yes’, thinking, ‘Here we go again.’

“But he told me it was actually his good friend who made that phone call, and I actually spoke to the guy who made the call on the phone.

“He explained to me that it was just a liquidation, he never thought it would pass, and he was a little scared afterwards thinking, ‘Oh my God, what have I done ?’

“It was a good joke but it was never meant to be this big, so it’s a funny story but not true!”

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