The Martin Tyler text that nearly sent Mat Ryan to Bristol City

Legendary football commentator Martin Tyler has revealed a series of text messages between himself, Gary and Phil Neville nearly caused Mat Ryan a move to Bristol City.

Speaking in an interview for Socceroos.com.au, Tyler described the request he received from Bristol’s Chief Recruitment Officer for whom he was working with in 2017.

“I got a text saying can you find out if the Neville’s rate Mat Ryan,” said Tyler. 

The Australian spent two seasons at Club Brugge, where he won the Belgian Pro League goalkeeper of the year in both seasons before departing for Spain.

Watch Martin Tyler share Football Stories from working with Ryan, Aaron Mooy and other Australian football legends in the video at the top!

Mat Ryan
Ryan in action for Brighton

Although Ryan experienced a mixed stint with La Liga side Valencia, where he was coached by the Neville’s, they did not hesitate in singing their praises for the shot stopper.

“He’d already made an impact in Europe,” explained Tyler.

“Both Gary and Phil gave Mat a real thumbs up.”

Ryan ultimately joined Brighton and Hove Albion and has been an integral part of the Seagulls side in each of his first three seasons.

The 6-foot goalkeeper has established himself as a quality Premier League keeper with a focus that has impressed Tyler.

“His strong mental approach earned him respect very quickly,” described Tyler.


“He’s not the tallest but compensates with his agility, making some remarkable saves.”

Ryan’s Socceroo and Brighton teammate Aaron Mooy is another that has caught the eye of many English pundits and fans alike.

Tyler highlighted both his seamless transition to the Premier League and the importance Brighton place on him as key factors that make him stand out.

“The best compliment I can pay Mooy is he just looks like he’s been here all the time,” noted Tyler.

“Brighton recognise him as a responsible player to see and make a crucial pass, deliver a set piece, score a goal and track back to make tackles.

“He’s shown all those qualities and a bit of class as well.”

Aaron Mooy Arsenal brighton
Mooy (R) in action v Arsenal

With over 100 international caps and almost 200 Premier League appearances between them, Ryan and Mooy have done their country proud both on and off the pitch.

A consistent dedication to club and country ensured both Australians performances that have not gone unnoticed.

Although he nearly cost Ryan a move to the Premier League, Australia fans should take great pride in Tyler’s endorsements of the Socceroos duo as few know the game better than the man who’s been commentating on English football for over 45 years.

“Those two have carried the flag nobly, representing Australia well as people, professionals and performers on the pitch,” explained Tyler.

“They’ve got a lot to be proud for and therefore Socceroo’s fans have a lot to be proud for as well.”