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Meet The Influencers of 2024 Overlap Fan Debate: Big Steve, Abigail Rudkin, HLTCO, More

Meet The Influencers of 2024 Overlap Fan Debate: Big Steve, Abigail Rudkin, HLTCO, More

Sky Sports continue to boost fan engagement through ‘The Overlap’ YouTube channel. Their Fan Debate segment with Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher has gained quite the notoritey since its inception.

Now, the 2023/24 edition of the Fan Debate is here and it features some exciting new personalities.

The platform allows social media influencers of major Premier League clubs to engage in respectful debates on topics such as the title race and top-4 battle.

Let’s take a closer look at the influencers participating in the 2024 Overlap Fan Debate –

Big Steve (Manchester City)

Manchester City fan Big Steve has gained his popularity for being the person behind the City Xtra Twitter page, which has over 700,000 subscribers and won four awards in the Football Content Awards for the best social media aggregator.

Big Steve (Manchester City)

At a time when Manchester City fans are mocked for only supporting the club for its dominance, Steve has actually gone through all the highs and lows – having supported the club for over 20-25 years now.

He’s a childhood City fan who has seen them relegated to League One and then also win the Champions League. Steve has over 51,000 followers on his personal Instagram account and a YouTube channel with over 22,000 subscribers too.

Steve is married, but refrains from posting much about his personal life on his social media – even though he did pose with his little boy after the Cityzens’ won the UEFA Champions League title last year.

Apart from his work with City Xtra and his personal YouTube channel, he has also featured for the likes of Talksport and LadBible in the past – being engaged in debates and interviews.

Abigail Rudkin (Liverpool)

Abigail Rudkin represents Liverpool in the 2024 Overlap Fan Debate. She is associated with The Anfield Wrap, being part of the fan outlet’s podcasts and shows.

Rudkin, however, mostly specializes in art and is an incredible painter.

Abigail Rudkin (Liverpool)

The 23-year-old has gained her popularity for drawing up some amazing real-life portraits of Liverpool players and Jurgen Klopp in the past. Rudkin was actually also associated with Liverpool FC in the past, having worked as a retail assistant for their Anfield Store for a few years before the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Rudkin has over 46,000 followers on her Twitter account, where she normally just promotes her artistry. She also has over 4,500 followers on her Instagram where she does the same, and her personal Instagram account is made private.

She has a BA (Bachelor of Arts) degree from the Liverpool Hope University and an MA (Masters) degree from the Manchester University – and is a true Scouser who is born and brought up in Liverpool.

Clive Palmer (Arsenal)

Arsenal probably has the most notorious bunch of social media influencers, with their AFTV YouTube channel giving a platform to many unique characters.

However, this time around, Sky Sports opted to bring a rational voice in the form Clive Palmer, the man behind Arsenal Vision Podcast.

Clive Palmer and Martin Odegaard

Clive’s channel has over 27,000 X (Twitter) followers and won the award of the Best Premier League Podcast in the 2021 Football Content awards.

Clive has been praised for his logical reasoning in the latest fan debate, where he gave a compelling argument of his side’s success and ability to win the Premier League this season.

Palmer is actually pretty popular among the Gunners’ fanbase for how well he can carry himself in debates and podcasts, having over 75,000 followers on his personal Twitter account.

He doesn’t really post much about his personal life on social media, but actually works for the Lloyds Banking Group As the Senior IT Risk Project Manager.

Flav Bateman (Tottenham Hotspur)

Tottenham Hotspur’s most popular influencer is probably Expressions Oozing (340,000 subscribers on YouTube), but Sky Sports opted to go with someone with a more nuanced debating knowledge.

Flav Bateman, host of The Fighting Cock podcast, represents Tottenham in the Sky Sports show.

Flav Bateman

Bateman is not only the host of the Fighting Cock podcast, but also associated with the James & Flav For Now show on YouTube hosted by YouTuber James Allcott and also the Lads Anonymous podcast (where he answers anonymous questions from people).

Flav is a married man and celebrated his marriage with Olivia on his Instagram – where he only has around 3.8k followers. He does, although, have over 34,000 subscribers on his Twitter account and might gain more after mouthing off towards his hate for Arsenal in the fan debate recently.

Luke Robinson (Aston Villa)

Aston Villa were represented by the presenter of the UTV (Up The Villa) podcast – Luke Robinson. The Up The Villa YouTube channel has just over 16,000 subscribers and the podcast itself is quite popular among the Villans because of well it covers the club’s issues.

Luke Robinson (Aston Villa)

Robinson, meanwhile, also works as a freelancer for other outlets like SofaScore. He is a regular match-goer for Aston Villa matches, having a seat at the Villa Holte End at Villa Park.

Robinson has over 12,000 followers on his Twitter account and is gaining decent fandom with his work on YouTube.

Adam McKola (Manchester United)

Manchester United are represented by influencer Adam McKola, who is pretty popular among the Red Devils’ communities. He is a YouTuber who is associated with the Stretford Paddock channel, but has his own personal ventures like his YouTube channel with over 144,000 subscribers. His actual name is Adam, but the ‘McKola’ tag is a mix of his parents surnames (McLlroy and Kola).

Roy Keane and Adam McKola

McKola has Indian roots and has also been featured in other mainstream outlets like BBC Sport, Football Daily and also other shows or YouTubers like True Geordie, The Club and Full Time Devils.

The 34-year-old likes to keep his personal life private, but has made impressive ground in the influencer community having started his YouTube journey way back in 2013 as a host of the Full Time Devils channel – where he often took post-match reactions from other fans.

Matisse Armani and Harry Clark (Chelsea)

Chelsea had multiple fan representatives in the latest Fan Debate, including a pretty popular YouTuber in the form of Matisse. His full name is Matisse Armani (not to be mistaken with the popular fashion designer giants), and he has his own YouTube channel (MAH) with over 78,000 subscribers.

Matisse Armani

Matisse is involved in watch-alongs, podcasts and interviews – and is also associated with the likes of DR Sports, BR Football and The Big 6ix show too.

Before his work as an influencer, Matisse also worked in the sales department for Virgin Active and is a social media manager for Cheeky Sports since 2019.

He has over 14,000 followers on his Instagram and over 78,000 subscribers on his YouTube, earning popularity for his watch along shows and interactions on DR Sports.

Along with Matisse, Sky Sports also invited another Chelsea fan in the form of Harry Clark – the winner of the latest season of the BBC One TV series ‘The Traitors’.

Harry Clark

Clark is also a former British Admiral Corporal and the 23-year-old reportedly won £95,000 from winning the Traitors – as he now looks to venture into a broader acting career.

Barry Cass (Everton)

The Everton fan base has been tied to a bitter feud with the Premier League organizers after seeing the club receive a 10 point deduction this season.

Barry Cass with Wayne Rooney

Knowing how heated and confrontational some Toffees’ supporters can be, Sky Sports made the decision to bring a believable ‘voice’ from their fan channel Toffee TV.

This is an Everton fan channel with over 84,000 subscribers, one which covers matches, press conferences and hosts its own shows to deliver the latest news and debates. The representative from the channel was one of the shows’ hosts Barry Cass (Baz), a 52-year-old Evertonian who has been taking care of the channel since 2014.

He has over 29,000 followers on his Twitter account and is a married man with children, although Baz does prefer to keep his private life under the wraps.

Kendall Rowan (Newcastle United)

While True Geordie is probably the most popular Newcastle United fan on social media, it was someone else who represented the Magpies in the fan debate.

Kendall Rowan was the one who spoke about her side’s shaky campaign and potential threat of being dealt a blow if not able to match the Financial Fair Play regulations.

Kendall Rowan

Kendall is a rising influencer over 30,000 Twitter followers, and she has gained a reputation for giving her opinion in fancams for channels like Newcastle United fans TV or the Magpie Channel TV.

Rowan has featured for media outlets like BBC, Sky Sports, Copa 90 and the Premier League – while she works as a freelance creator for USA Sports right now. She actually worked as a cabin crew hostess for TUI before the Covid-19 pandemic and is a proud mum, despite keeping her private live under wraps.

Dan Cook aka HLTCO (Crystal Palace)

A rather heartwarming gesture made in the latest Overlap Debate was the introduction of Crystal Palace fanatic HLTCO, who is better known as Dan Cook.

The HLTCO stands for ‘Hopkin Looking To Curl One’ – which signifies an iconic moment for the club in 1997 when David Hopkin scored a dramatic late winner against Sheffield United in the Championship playoff final in 1997.

Dan Cook aka HLTCO

HLTCO podcast is a pretty popular one among Palace fans, with its Twitter account having over 17,000 followers and also 13,500 on YouTube. The original HLTCO account has over 100,000 followers and its runner Dan Cook has an inspiring story.

Cook initially didn’t want to reveal his identity because he suffers from cerebral palsy – a muscular condition that affect one’s body movement and structure. He has earned a lot of praise for being dedicated enough to football and to his podcast to continue it despite his personal problems and gave an insightful view on Palace’s situation this season.

Jamie Castle (Luton Town)

Luton Town also had a fan representative in the latest Overlap podcast in the form of the creator and host of the Oak Road Hatter podcast. Jamie Castle was the one who represented his club in the debate and he’s arguably the least popular one to be involved in it.

Jamie Castle

The 27-year-old has just over 500 followers on his Instagram, but is dedicated to his podcast.

Castle is a dedicated Hatter who travels for every single Luton Town match and has seen them go from the depths of lower league football to play against the world’s best in the Premier League this season.