The Build-up to the Euros with Pete Graves

Our Luxe sports columnist and Sky Sports presenter guides us through his busy sporting calendar and the build up to the Euros…

Pete Graves

Luxe columnist

From Cheltenham and Premier League heydays with Newcastle United to the build-up to the Euros. All of that, plus family Center Parcs getaways and charity golf trips, here’s what Pete Graves has been up to…

Living Luxe

We enjoyed a week at Center Parcs, Whinfell Forest, in April, while the kids were off for the Easter holidays. We always go at Easter and we always go at Christmas – we love it there, there’s so much for the kids to do. It was my birthday while we were there, which was nice.

We’ve got a (child-free!) weekend away at Seaham that Steph got me for my birthday, so we’re really looking forward to that. It’s a beautiful place right on the doorstep!


Working Life…

It’s been busy. We had Cheltenham at the back end of March, which is always a great event to work on. I go every single year for at least one day, but this time I hosted a Gold Cup Lunch in London.

The festival was on the big screen, there was Irish music, the Guinness was flowing there were tons of business people from London – it was a brilliant event and a really great atmosphere.

I was there with Phil Tufnell, former England cricket international, and David James, ex England goalkeeper. We did a little Q&A – it was lots of fun.

I’ve still been doing Good Morning Sports Fans on Sky Sports, which always keeps me busy – and I’ve hosted a number of sporting events in recent months. In June I’m hosting The Sir Bobby Robson Celebrity Golf Classic tournament in Vila Sol in Vilamoura.

The event is run by Bobby Robson’s family and they raise money for Ascensão, a homeless children’s charity based in Faro, Portugal. Loads of ex players and famous footballing faces go out there and support the cause, which is always good to see.

Following that, the Euros will be underway. It’s always brilliant when there’s a summer Euros tournament. Busy in terms of work, but it’s fantastic to see everyone out and about watching the games and showing their support to our national side. There will be lots of screenings across the North East.


The World of Sports…

At our time of speaking, we’re into the last five weeks of the Premier League season. We’re really at the business end now, and for Newcastle it’s a case of trying to get themselves into the top seven or eight so they can qualify for European football next season.

They had a great result against West Ham, bringing it back to beat them 4-3. It was a really topsy-turvy game – one of the best games I’ve seen at St. James’ Park in a long time.

Me and my son went to the Everton game, where we came away with a point. As long as they can continue picking up points from now until the end of the season, they should qualify for Europe; and considering all of the injuries, that would be a great achievement.

Our 4-0 victory to Tottenham was one to remember – in terms of the result – but also because it was a historic moment for our section of fans who have deafness and hearing loss.

For this fixture, RNID (the national charity supporting people who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus) replaced the SELA sponsorship on the player’s shirts and advertising boards.

For the first time, fans (and the game’s matchday mascots) with hearing loss had access to cutting edge ‘Haptic Shirts’ that literally transform the atmosphere of the stadium into real-time touch sensation so the supporter can physically feel the atmosphere.


Q&A with Gareth Southgate

I was at the game and spent time with people from RNID. I spoke to some of the deaf supporters that experienced the technology and they all said it was the best day of their lives.

After one of the goals, Dan Burn did a sign language celebration to the crowd, which was amazing to see. It really is groundbreaking technology that is likely to be adopted by numerous clubs across the world, but it was wonderful to see it make its debut here at St. James’ Park.

I’ll be at St. James’ Park on 29 April, hosting a Q&A session with Gareth Southgate ahead of England’s fixture against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday 3 June. It’s one of their final games ahead of Euro 2024, and the first time the national side have played at St. James’ in a long time.

Last time they played in Newcastle was around 2002 – I remember Beckham playing – so it has been a while. It’s wonderful for the city and for football fans up here in the North East. So I’m really excited to be a part of that. The stadium will be packed to the rafters.

Q&A with Pete

How do the summer months look for a sports reporter?

That’s a great question. Although some sports wind down in the summer months, there are other sports like cricket and tennis that really ramp up. And when there’s a summer tournament like the Euros, there’s certainly plenty going on to keep us busy.

And to be honest, for me, in terms of football, it’s always busy because I’m so involved with the transfer window, which really kicks in in the summer. After a quiet January, it’s expected to be a busy summer.

Sky have just launched Sky Tennis, so we’ll be doing a lot more tennis coverage this year. So, although there’s no Premier League fixtures to focus on, there’s still plenty going on at Sky Sports News.

Got a question you’d like to ask Pete? Send us a DM @luxe_mag!