Category: “Football

On NI, Tory fears of Labour spinsters, and headbands in sport

Posted on 6 February 2010 | 10:02am

I was at a dinner a few weeks ago with Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward, who was distinctly gloomy about ever getting a proper resolution to policing and justice issues, which were always fraught but which finally appear to have been sorted. So congratulations to the two governments and the parties for reaching an agreement […]

A lesson in campaign mindset from young Labour students

Posted on 31 January 2010 | 1:01pm

I stayed up in Burnley after our latest heroic defeat last night to do a fundraiser for the town’s new Labour candidate Julie Cooper. It was the perfect venue for a speaking event – looking out over the hallowed turf of Turf Moor. But may I assure those political obsessives who complain when I do […]

Only one place to be tonight

Posted on 26 January 2010 | 9:01am

Forgive me if I have only one thing on my mind today – no not that, nor even plugging Maya (out soon by the way and may I say the man from the Mirror, who gave my first novel a great write up, says he likes this one even more) so what with Time Out’s […]

Big bucks campaigning not what it’s cracked out to be

Posted on 24 January 2010 | 10:01am

There was a moment during Barack Obama’s multi-squillion-dollar presidential campaign when his team realised they had so much money in the war chest that they bought a mass of advertising they probably didn’t need. That is one ‘problem’ unlikely to affect the Labour Party this year. Whereas American campaigns always seem to do it bigger, […]

On Owen Coyle and Brian Laws

Posted on 13 January 2010 | 6:01pm

Welcome back to Brian Laws as Burnley’s new manager. I say welcome back because Brian is a former player. Fair to say Owen Coyle’s departure to Bolton was like a kick in the guts of a lot of Burnley fans but chairman Barry Kilby and fellow board member Brendan Flood have moved quickly to fill […]

In defence of airbrushed posters

Posted on 9 January 2010 | 4:01pm

What on earth is the fuss about? So David Cameron’s picture has been airbrushed so that the forehead looks baby-bottom smooth as drivers look away from the snowy roads to see DC looking down from poster sites around Britain. As I have explained in a little video just uploaded on Youtube, there is a tradition […]

Sad and baffled to see Coyle go

Posted on 5 January 2010 | 4:01pm

I have done a longish piece on Owen Coyle’s departure for AOL’s Football Fanhouse on Here are a few extracts for those who don’t really care as much as I and – judging from the phone-ins and message boards – many others do. ‘I cannot say I am surprised he has gone. As I […]

One man’s White Christmas joy is another’s football disaster

Posted on 24 December 2009 | 1:12pm

Both partner and daughter have woken to utter ‘oh no’ as they have seen the mild rain failing, helping to melt the lying snow, and dent the chances of a White Christmas. He has a lot to answer for does Bing Crosby. All that dreaming of a White Christmas, infecting everyone else’s dreams and desires […]

Giggs gets my Sports Personality vote, but I’ll miss the big moment

Posted on 11 December 2009 | 1:12pm

I cannot quite believe I will be missing BBC Sports Personality of the Year tomorrow night, and if I told you the reason … oh spare me the embarrassment. I’ll give you a clue. My daughter can’t quite believe she is missing the final of X-Factor, but if I tell you that she is a […]

Well done BBC in Mental Health Media awards. Looking forward to Inside Sport on depression tonight

Posted on 25 November 2009 | 10:11am

I am out tonight recording the voiceover for a new official Burnley FC DVD – stay with me, stay with me, this is not another Burnley blog, I promise. I’m just hoping I get back in time for Inside Sport on BBC1 at 1045, which has a feature on depression in sport. From the trailers […]