This book shines a frank and funny light on the varied career of sports journalist Alan Biggs. It's a thoroughly readable memoir of a reporter who, although specialising in football, can turn his hand to any sort of game - from cricket, to snooker and more recently, to netball. He describes himself as "someone who has never had a proper job" and he's still pinching himself after all these years. He has obviously enjoyed riding on the coattails of many of football's great and good and my only quibble is that, particularly in his early career, he seems a little too reverential - sometimes giving the impression of being in awe of the personalities he comes across. This entertaining collection of sport and showbiz stories is punctuated by some insightful observations about the nature of freelance journalism - its highs, and particularly its lows, as the industry contracts at an alarming rate.
A highly enjoyable, somewhat demystifying insight into a side of football of which fans rarely catch a glimpse. Biggs takes the reader across different eras, media, teams... but the quirky nature of his job and his world remain constant throughout. Let's hope there's a follow-up in a few years' time: the book already features some references to the changes affecting our Beautiful Game, but I'm sure there are plenty more to come/cover... not that I'm naive enough to suggest a fundamental shift in fortunes for my beloved Blades will be one of them! Biggs covering The Original United in a Champions' League semi at the Camp Nou - hmmm, doubt it...
I purchased this book initially to gain an insight into the life of a sports journalist. This book definitely gives you that and provides lots of laughs along the way. I was surprised at how close the relationship is between the reporter and the managers and players within the game of football. You get a great feel for how the media operate and how 'breaking news' stories come about.
I'd definitely recommend this book, it's a great read and a must for any sports fan, particularly one of the beautiful game - football!
As a fellow journalist - albeit not quite as successful as the author - I thoroughly enjoyed this. It's not, as you wouldn't expect, laugh out loud funny (even though some moments did make me laugh) but it's full of interesting stories and gives a terrific insight into the life of a football journalist.
Buying this was money well spent. Seems a good guy too which is rare in the business.
Okay, I"m biased. The author used to be a neighbour and we got on really well, and the subject matter is close to home (South Yorkshire in the main), BUT, if you're a fan of sports books, and want to have a right good giggle at Alan's past, well worth the purchase.
Nice one Alan, bring on the next, and UP THE BLADES!
Alan draws on all his years with Grandstand, 5-Live, local radio as well as the printed press putting together a witty, informative, personal account of life as soccer reporter. Not only is it impossible not to smile all the way through but you also you get a time capsule of those heady, simpler days of 70s, 80s journalism.
I've got a real interest in any football journalist's take on our national sport, and Alan Biggs book certainly doesn't disappoint. Full of zany moments, humour, and honest views about the game, its a great read for all footy fans.