Who Are We?….
Stones Live! is the official radio station of Maidstone United Football Club, broadcasting via the internet. We are run by volunteer supporters who have a background in professional broadcast radio. Stones Live! is funded independently from the football club by volunteer donations or through sponsorship and advertising. Stones Live! is a not-for-profit service and any monies raised are put back into the radio station to pay for various broadcast licences and to renew worn or broken equipment.
We broadcast live commentaries of games and produce a magazine show, “The Black & Amber Bulletin”, which includes match reports, interviews with management & players and results from the Club’s 30+ teams.
When we’re not broadcasting live, we broadcast the best mix of music in our 24/7 music shows with presenters including Jay Forster, James Ross & Spencer James.
In 2010/11 Stones Live! was voted “Sports Station of the Year” at the Internet Radio Awards.
Jon Crowther (left) of JEK Tech Printers, one of our main sponsors for the 2016/2017 season, with Station Manager Chris Bechervaise. Jon has been a Stones fan since the Kent League days. One of his most vivid memories from those days was having to dip his feet in a chemical trough before entering a ground, due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Until recently, Jon spent a lot of time overseas and often relied on our coverage in order to follow the Stones’ progress.
Just part of the team: (left to right) Chris Bechervaise, James Williams, Fred Atkins.
Former Maidstone United Chairman Paul Bowden-Brown (right) being interviewed by Chris Bechervaise in a “Black & Amber – Ask The Chairman Special” live from The Fox pub, Maidstone on 22nd November 2008.
Meet The Team
Chris Bechervaise – Station Manager/Producer/Presenter/Commentator/Marketing
Chris travels from Buckinghamshire to watch the Stones. He lives in The Chilterns with his wife Hayley and sons James and William. Chris is a Civil Servant, working as an adviser, trainer and conciliator for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). The founder of Stones Live!, Chris started his interest in broadcast radio by joining Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells in 1980. He has also worked as a presenter/producer with RTM Radio (now known as Time FM) in south east London from 1984 to 1996 where, amongst other roles, he was the “anchor man” for the Saturday afternoon football show, “The Beautiful Game”.
A Stones fan since 1986, Chris can vividly remember his first Stones game against Welling United in the FA Cup 1st Round proper at Park View Road. “It was my first ever non-league game and I found it intriguing. The one thing I can remember really well was finding it quite a novelty that there was no segregation; at half-time both sets of supporters changed ends and there were people standing about on the terraces carrying pints of beer from the bar! Until that moment, these things were completely alien to me as a former Chelsea supporter. But from that moment onwards I was bitten by the Stones non-league bug.”
Adrian Sharpe (aka “NWS”) – Commentator/Co-commentator/Reporter/Studio Pundit
Adrian, aka North West Stone (NWS) lives in Herne Bay with his wife and two children and works in a residential children’s home. He has been supporting the Stones since the mid seventies and he believes his first game was a 3-1 defeat at home to Grantham in 1976. His favourite moments since supporting the Stones were the atmosphere at the Charlton FA Cup game in 1980 and discovering that the Club had been reborn (not living in the area he did not know of the new Maidstone United until 1996). Adrian’s worst moment is undoubtedly the failure to gain planning permission and the subsequent death of the old club in 1992. His favourite player of all time is Glenn Coupland. He doesn’t know why, he was just a good centre forward when Adrian used to go to games. Working on Stones Live! is Adrian’s first experience of working in the media and, after feeling very nervous the first time, now enjoys doing shows when he can. He says that one day he may even make some sense on the thing!
Fred Atkins – Commentator/Co-commentator/Reporter/Studio Pundit
Fred (seen above in the foreground in the Woking FC press box), lives in Allington. He is a local sports journalist and author. His career started with the late, unlamented Stones fanzine SHAFTED! before getting a job with the Maidstone News, which was consumed by the Adscene. He moved to the Kent Messenger in 2002 and became Sports Editor in 2005. Fred turned freelance in 2008 and now works for a number of organisations, including the Associated Press and Kent on Sunday.
His first book, “The Double”, was the story of Maidstone United’s double-winning 2001-2002 season, a limited edition in every sense of the word. His second book “Tour de Kent: the day the world’s greatest bike race came to the garden of England,” was published in June 2009 by Breedon Books.
Fred has been a Stones supporter for about 30 years and has been told his first game was a 1-0 defeat to Cheltenham around 1977 or 1978. But the first game he has a vague memory of was the 1-1 draw at the Valley in the FA Cup with Charlton. Fred’s greatest ever Stones players are 1) Aaron Lacy 2) Frank Ovard 3) Mo Takaloo;
His worst moments as a Stones supporter were those surrounding the events of 1992. He says the scars are permanent. His favourite moment was beating Tonbridge Angels in the FA Cup a few years ago. Not because he had anything against Tonbridge, but because it was the first time we’d played a game in front of that kind of crowd since the football league days. This favourite moment was however eclipsed by the first game at The Gallagher Stadium in 2012.
Darren “Moley” Styles – Commentator/Co-Commentator (nearest the camera)
Dan Broad – Co-commentator/Reporter/Techie/presenter
James Williams – Commentator/Co-commentator/Reporter/Techie
James has only been part of our commentary team since autumn 2014, but has already commentated on a number of key high profile games, including the Stones’ big away day at Wrexham in the FA Cup. He is also a useful part of our technical team, often operating our outside broadcast equipment during commentaries.
Ruth Tunnell – Match Reporter/Studio Pundit/post-match interviewer
Ruth lives in Tunbridge Wells. Her occupation is a Rocket Scientist (yes really!). She has been writing the match reports for Maidstone United’s match day programme and website for a number of years, and this means she also covers the Club for the Non-League Paper. She has also done some freelance football and science writing for a number of publications and organisations including the Press Association and Chemistry World. Her only previous “radio” experience came when she was covering the Ryman League Division One title-deciding game at Walton Casuals for Dover Athletic via a mobile phone. Due to severe nerves prior to and during the game, Ruth had drunk a few ciders and that, coupled with the terrible mobile reception, meant that they stopped phoning for updates after a while. A Stones supporter for about 18 years, she believe’s her first Stones game was against Scarborough at Watling Street. Her primary school organised a trip to the game and she remembers hanging around afterwards to collect some autographs. Ruth considers Steve Butler to be The Stones’ greatest ever player. He went to her primary school along with Mark Gall to hold a “training session” and after he had autographed Ruth’s “Chess” notebook, she decided he was going to be her favourite player. Until his departure, Lloyd Blackman had the potential to become one of Ruth’s greatest Maidstone players. As well as scoring the winner down at Ramsgate which was a fantastic moment, he has also scored two of the best goals Ruth has ever seen from a Stones player. Ruth’s worst moment whilst supporting the Stones was when the club folded. She was quite young at the time and never envisaged it would take as long as it did to even get to Kent League level. Her favourite moment was the feeling of running across the pitch and the subsequent celebrations at Sevenoaks Town when we finally clinched the Kent League title.
Jay (Jason) Bradshaw – Presenter, The Local Show and The Summer Show
Jay presents two shows on Stones Live! The first is “The Local Show”, our weekly look at things going on in Maidstone. The show, which first airs each week on Friday nights during the football season, often features interviews with local people or organisations, together with local music. Jay also has a team of guest co-hosts who take it in turns to join him behind the mic. At the end of the football season the Local Show is put to bed and Jay rolls out his second programme, “The Summer Show”, where he plays both local and international artists with a taste of summer. Jay has supported Kent football (in general) for quite a few years and even admits to having a “soft spot” for Tonbridge Angels. But he also supports Maidstone United and can often be found at home games, and other matches involving our community sides.
Paul Collyer – Presenter, Stones Rock!
Paul presents our two-hour rock show “Stones Rock!”, playing a wide range of soft rock spanning five decades. Although soft rock is his favourite music genre, Paul also likes pop music. Paul presented shows at Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells from 2004 to 2006 and has recently started presenting a Sunday morning show on Hospital Radio Maidstone between 10.00am and 1.00pm. He says that if he had the opportunity to invite any two people (dead or living) to dinner, they would be Joe Elliott from Def Leppard and Michael Jackson. Paul has been a Maidstone United supporter since 1985.
Jay Forster – Presenter, House Central
Jay is the presenter of Stones Live’s weekly dance music show, House Central. He has been rooted in the UK Dance Music scene for over half a decade, having presented weekly dance shows for over 8 years to over 4 million listeners every week. Regarded as one of the top tastemakers in the UK Dance scene and one of the fastest growing names in House music, Jay has rocked dance floors across the UK and Europe. Recently Jay has spent several years successfully focusing on producing at BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra, working alongside some of the biggest names in UK Dance & Urban culture (including Pete Tong, Dave Pearce, & Judge Jules). At the same time he has continued to work hard as a club DJ and in music production which culminated in a successful summer in 2013, when he came 2nd in the UK at the Movida Corona DJ Competition. In 2014 he also presided over gigs at Pacha London, Ministry of Sound, Pukka Up Ibiza and Terrace at Amnesia, to name but a few.
Spencer James – Presenter, Airplay 40 (Chart Show)
Spencer present’s Stones Live’s chart show, Airplay 40, the top 40 songs as played on English-speaking radio stations around the World. He has been working in the media for most of his life. He has over a decade of professional broadcasting experience, working on radio stations in the UK and across Europe. Away from the microphone, he is an experienced programme controller, who has also run production departments, as well as working on branding and marketing exercises for radio groups. Spencer is the Principal of ERN (Expat Radio Network), and is responsible for developing and expanding the project, and its’ programmes.
James Ross – Presenter, The Greatest Hits of Music
James presents The Greatest Hits Of Music every week on Stones Live, with a focus on the biggest and best songs that you will remember, and some you’ve forgotten!
James started out working at BBC Radio Solent, BBC London and BBC Radio Bristol, mixed with spells at Radio Top Shop. He was then, for many years, behind the scenes at BBC Radio 1, and then as a reporter at BBC Radio 2 and LBC News Radio. His reporting specialty was travel shows, and for this he travelled all over the world to record radio programmes about destinations such as Barbados, Egypt, Cyprus, Hungary, Sweden, China, Japan, the U.S, and many others… an exotic and fun job which he loved… perhaps not surprisingly!
Matt Graveling – Presenter, The Best of British Unsigned (“the B-o-B”)
Music is both a passion and a necessity. Silence is overrated and so Matt fills it with noise. His iPod plays everything from Dire Straits to Tinie Tempah. He’s an overly sensitive sports fan and supporter of Southampton FC. He can’t watch horror films and drink’s a ridiculous amount of Earl Grey tea (white, one sugar). He lived in the USA for two years, came back, met Talia and it’s been downhill ever since. Matt is also a presenter/producer and reporter for BBC Radio Hampshire. In 2014 he won the EDF Radio Show of the Year Award for a documentary about Romanian orphans.