How to complete a deadline day deal: A minute-by-minute guide

Eric Walters, Head of Player Recruitment at Base Soccer, talks us through Leon Best’s last-gasp move from Coventry to Newcastle in February 2010

Sunday 31 January
17:15
I'm at the Emirates Stadium to watch Arsenal vs Manchester United when the phone rings. It's Coventry City chairman Ray Ranson, informing me that the club have agreed a fee with Newcastle and asking whether Leon would be interested. I ring Leon, who expresses an immediate interest.

17:40
I leave the game early and head back home. While en route, I have a further chat with Newcastle, informing them of Leon's proposed personal terms.

21:15
Newcastle ring back wanting an answer to their final offer and following a further telephone conversation with Leon, both parties come to an agreement. With Leon in Leamington and myself in Essex, it's a case of getting all my paperwork together and us both setting up for the north east.

22:45
I finally get on the road.

Monday 1 February
03:15
Thanks to roadworks on the A1, I don't get to the hotel until the early hours. Leon calls at 2am saying he's arrived.

07:30
An alarm call wakes me and it's a light breakfast with Leon. We can't go for the full English as he will be having his medical later today!

08:45
We arrive at the Newcastle training ground to be greeted by the Sky Sports New cameras and a number of fans by the gate.

09:30
While Leon goes to a local hospital to have his medical, I remain at the training ground to finalise the contract with the club. Leon returns, having passed.

12:00
We have lunch and discuss the move further while Leon meets Newcastle manager Chris Hughton.

15:00
The deal is done. Leon signs, in the presence of Hughton. He is now officially a Newcastle player and the news is made official via the club's website.

16:00
It's back to St James' Park for the official photocall with the local press, Leon undergoes interviews.

Tuesday 2 February
02.30
I arrive home. It's been a mad 33 or so hours! With Leon set to make his debut in two days' time against Cardiff, I'll be off to St James' again. This time by train!

This feature originally appeared in the April 2010 edition of FourFourTwo magazine

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