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Shrewsbury Town old boys have tales aplenty with new podcast

What do you get if you cross three former Shrewsbury Town players, a couple of beers, plenty of laughs and football chat from a bygone era?

Former Shrewsbury Town favourites Dave Edwards, Gavin Cowan and Sam Aiston have reunited for a popular new football podcast 'In The Stiffs'
Former Shrewsbury Town favourites Dave Edwards, Gavin Cowan and Sam Aiston have reunited for a popular new football podcast 'In The Stiffs'

The answer: a new must-listen podcast for any Town fan keen to hear about hilarious untold Salop stories of generations gone by.

At the end of last December Sam Aiston, Dave Edwards and Gavin Cowan ventured into the busy world of football podcasts with the launch of their own attempt, titled 'In The Stiffs'.

The idea was a long-running one of ex-Town and AFC Telford United defender and – until recently – manager Cowan. The concept, based loosely on the roaring success of Undr The Cosh, a goldmine of lower league football myths and tales past and present, is to reminisce on 'the good old days', give opinions and hear from guests.

This week saw the release of the fifth episode – number four this series after episode three's two-parter – and it is fair to say ex-winger and fans' favourite Aiston, hometown icon Edwards and stylish defender Cowan have struck gold with nothing but praise from supporters and listeners so far.

Aiston, who is headteacher at Broseley Church of England Primary School, said: "Gav's been mentioning it for ages, but we were so busy, Dave still played for Shrewsbury, Gav was manager of Telford, I was busy!

"Dave's left (full-time) football, Gav's left Telford, so Gav's gone 'we've got more time now' – I said 'you two have but I haven't!'

"Gav pushed it so we kicked it off. We met up and talked about it a couple of times, I think we were a bit nervous about doing it. One day we just said 'let's press record' - we did it and it sounded terrible!

"It was just so awkward, the three of us were so uncomfortable, we binned it.

"So it was a case of that's what it doesn't need to sound like and we did it again. That first episode isn't brilliant, we thought the second was much better.

"You keep on and it gets slicker and you get a bit more confident.

"We said to be honest with each other, that's when we've said about me interrupting, going off on a tangent and wanting to get more from Dave.

"That's where we've tried to be honest, to make sure it's interesting to get lots of listens and feedback."

Former Shrewsbury Town favourites Dave Edwards, Gavin Cowan and Sam Aiston have reunited for a popular new football podcast 'In The Stiffs'

Many of the rib-tickling tales recall times when footballers could go out to let their hair down without fear of retribution via smartphone video and social media-inspired heckling, days sadly behind today's society.

The title 'In The Stiffs' may leave casual fans scratching their heads, but Aiston explains: "Yeah, that's what it's about, in the stiffs is when you're in the reserves, 'I'm in the stiffs' – all three of us have had a little spell in the reserves.

"I thought it was quite good, the last thing people want to hear is us three speaking about all the highs.

"In football there's loads of lows, rubbish times, things going wrong, we don't want to sit there and tell each other how great we are. We want to talk about the reality of lower league football.

"It's not as glamorous as people may realise, you're not getting thousands and thousands a week where you can just retire. We want people to realise yes it's a fantastic profession but it's not all glitz and glamour, very, very little is, certainly the level I played at, maybe it was a bit different for Dave!"

The show's debut pilot episode focused on their former Town manager Gary Peters, and themes have also included best players the hosts have played with – spoiler, Gareth Bale wins that one – a run-through of the trio's manager history and memories of promotions.

Aiston, Edwards and Cowan meet weekly at Pimley Manor in Shrewsbury to chew the fat and have a laugh at Gay Meadow days past. The show, produced by Town's former head of media Ian Whitfield, has been received excellently online by Town supporters and wider fans of the game. They hope to record eight or nine episodes then review progress ahead of a possible series two.

One aim is to introduce guests to spice up the action. Aiston revealed Luke Rodgers, Ryan Lowe and Joe Hart are just three they hope will get involved.

Ex-Sunderland, Northampton, Tranmere and Wrexham winger Aiston, who was best man at Cowan's wedding, added: "It'd be good to get someone like Nigel Jemson. Anybody from Shrewsbury there's a good chance we'll be getting on, it's who the fans and listeners want. If we get a few saying they'd really like to listen to Darren Tinson, then I'm sure we could do that.

"We'd like Gary Peters and we spoke to him funnily enough! Me, Gav and Dave went on our Christmas do and we rang him, said we're thinking of doing this podcast, he didn't seem particularly thrilled. He must be nearly 70 now, he'd be a great one to get on.

"There's so many, Dave Cook the old assistant who comes up a lot, he'd be brilliant with hilarious stories about us.

"But also some people Dave played with at Wolves, some I played with at Sunderland."

Aiston, whose son Hugo plays for Shrewsbury Town under-12s, revealed episode one alone had attracted more than 1,000 listens. He laughed recalling one of his favourite stories: "I still laugh about the first time when I met Gav. We were all northern lads, I came from Newcastle so Shrewsbury was going south for me.

"There wasn't those sorts of characters and lads. Gav turning up in fake tan with highlights and diamond earrings was just something I hadn't experienced before."

To listen to the Town favourites' tales, search 'In The Stiffs podcast' on Google or listen via any podcast platform. Get in touch with the trio @InTheStiffs on social media or email inthestiffs@gmail.com

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