Category: “Football

A day spent interviewing footballers, then being interviewed by a transvestite comedian

Posted on 1 July 2009 | 2:07pm

Just missed the train from Preston by a few minutes, so time to knock out a quick blog. Not seen a paper or the news for two or three days, and worried the internet connection won’t last, so not risking dipping in and out of news sites to find out what if any ‘news’ I’ve […]

When the power of black eyes fades

Posted on 30 June 2009 | 9:06am

What with meetings, family stuff, a funeral and then a train journey north, I missed all the political excitement yesterday. I saw a couple of headlines suggesting Peter Mandelson was suggesting the economy is on the mend, then a couple more in which Dave was having a pop at GB, but beyond that, it sort […]

Glad to find Eric Cantona in a quiet cinema …

Posted on 24 June 2009 | 12:06am

Finally got to see ‘Looking for Eric’, the Ken Loach film starring football legend Eric Cantona as a fantasy life coach helping a struggling Manchester postman.  My son and I saw it in a near empty cinema, which was sad for the film’s takings but great for me, as noisy neighbours in cinemas is one […]

Bad times in Belfast, great day for Burnley, odd statement from Ed Balls

Posted on 18 June 2009 | 10:06am

A changed, more peaceful Northern Ireland is one of Labour’s proudest achievements. It has been wonderful, in recent times, to visit the place and find yourself talking to people about the weather, football, books, house prices, not the bombings and hatreds that defined Northern Ireland for so long. So there is something really depressing about the […]

The shrinks await

Posted on 10 June 2009 | 9:06am

Knocking this off very quickly before heading to a conference in the North East to make a speech on mental health. So before too long I will be in a room full of psychiatrists, in Tony Blair’s old constituency of Sedgefield. With the BBC leading on a report suggesting real pressure on NHS finances in […]

At least there’s a campaign on in Italy

Posted on 28 May 2009 | 9:05am

Greetings from a Rome strangely subdued despite pockets of happy Spaniards and deeply disappointed Manchester United supporters. Enough of football. The better team on the night won, United did not play as they can. Darren Fletcher was badly missed. Basta. I have two political observations to make before heading home. First, may I join in […]

It’s my blog and I’ll be a big kid if I want to

Posted on 26 May 2009 | 11:05pm

I read somewhere the other day that I was a ‘prolific blogger.’ Am I? I don’t think so. One a day most days, like shaving, very occasionally two, but I try to ensure it takes up no more than twenty minutes to half an hour.  If I was a proper blogger, I’d have been straight […]

Highs feel better after so many lows

Posted on 26 May 2009 | 10:05am

As I was saying … there is nothing quite like football; for anticipatory anxiety, stress during the game itself (not to mention FIVE minutes of injuty time) then joy overflowing in the moment of victory and the hours which follow it. Nor is there anything like it for prompting a warm response from others and […]

Only one present counts

Posted on 25 May 2009 | 11:05am

Short and sweet today … to thank all those who, particularly via Facebook, have wished me a Happy Birthday and, more importantly, good luck to Burnley. It is, quite simply, the biggest game since 1987 when we had to beat Orient to stay in the Football League. If we win, we will be the smallest […]

Sport at both ends of the financial spectrum

Posted on 23 May 2009 | 9:05am

A few weeks ago I did a blog and a vlog from a Keighley Cougars Rugby League match, where I was doing an article for the Times magazine. The piece appears this morning, with some terrific photos, and I hope the club think I did justice to the wonderful access I had, and to the […]