Category: Sport

Comedians · Speakers · Celebrities · Entertainers

Jimmy Hill: Football pundit & Emergency linesman

Just imagine. There is no fourth official and the linesman gets injured in an important Premier League football match. No one in the crowd is a qualified referee. Who could replace him? Think. Gary Lineker runs on the pitch offering his services. Then Alan Shearer says ‘I’m available?’ Sounds completely ridiculous? Yet this scenario was…
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History of British football: TV coverage & punditry -The Sky Revolution

Background ITV’s exclusive TV football league contract finished at the end of the 1992 season. Since the mid 1980s, talk of a super league of elite English clubs had been frequently mentioned by various footballing bodies. As the 1990’s approached it became more of a reality. The English clubs were now invited back into European…
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History of British football: TV coverage & punditry

The more outspoken they were the more television valued them. The public would switch on not only because they liked what they saw. But also to hate what they heard. Television football coverage and punditry has changed dramatically with the times. It has developed through the need of audience, growth of technology and the mass…
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George Best & Bobby Moore: Thieves?

George Best & Bobby Moore were footballing icons in the sixties and seventies. Bobby picking up the World Cup in 1966 for England and George Best an instrumental part of the great Manchester United side that won the European cup in 1968. Best is still seen by some as arguably the greatest player to grace…
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George Best: The Marjorie Wallace Affair

‘She wanted me because I was George Best and I wanted her because she was Miss World. It wasn’t exactly a meeting of minds, it was a collision of bodies.’ – George Best George Best (1946-2005) finally walked out on Manchester United in January 1974, having done so twice before. Although one of the most…
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Bobby Moore: The Bogotá Bracelet scandal (revisited)

Sir Alf Ramsey, the manager, said, when asked about their chances of retaining the Jules Rimet Trophy (World Cup): …I think we have an excellent chance and that we have a stronger party than in 1966…Provided we can acclimatise properly I think it will take a great team to beat us.” – The Times In…
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Gordon Banks: A safe pair of hands

Gordon Banks was one of the greatest goalkeepers of his or any other generation and he will forever be remembered for his heroic part in England’s triumphant 1966 World Cup campaign that culminated in the famous 4-2 victory over West Germany at Wembley in the final. Banks played 73 times for his country and won domestic…
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George Best A Memoir (Review)

Michael Parkinson was friends with George Best (1946-2005) for over 30 years, if anyway could shed light on this genesis of a footballer surely, he could. Yet throughout the book (George Best: A memoir) it contains memories as the title suggests, but does not shed any new light on this complex but highly charismatic footballer.…
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Kevin Keegan: My Life in Football (Review)

It’s more than 40 years since Kevin Keegan was the face of Brut, Pirelli slippers, Smith’s crisps and the Green Cross Code. He possessed the most famous autograph in football. Kevin was England’s golden boy. The best player in the country. At a time of under achievement for the nation at international level. He followed…
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Peter Brackley

Peter Brackley: Sports commentator with several voices

Sports Commentator & Broadcaster Peter began his radio and TV career as a very young sports editor on BBC Radio Brighton in the seventies, before following fellow Brighton fan Des Lynam to BBC National Radio, where he became a presenter and football commentator on Radio 2’s legendary ‘Sport on 2’, where he first met a…
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1981 Man Utd v Celtic

Football Nostalgia: The Daily Express 5-a-Side Competition

Five-a-side football is often seen today as a training method, used by clubs to keep players fit and practicing moving the ball quickly. What is often forgotten is this form of the beautiful game once had its own special competition. Leading teams would compete on a knock out basis in single evening of five-a-side football…
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Football Nostalgia: The London Evening Standard 5-a-side tournament

Football Nostalgia: London Evening Standard 5-a-Side Tournament

The London Evening Standard 5-a-side tournament (organised by the Sports Council now called Sport England) was first introduced in 1954.  And the last time in 1995. The competition, was usually played towards the end of the season (April, May). It featured the capitals league clubs. Roger Hillier says. ‘Initially the tournament ran for seven years…
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Tennis Speakers Benefit From Boom

It is fifty years since Tennis went ‘Open’ – this change allowed professional and amateurs to compete together at major Grand slam championships, namely the US Open, French Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon (the oldest Tennis competition in the world). Since 1968 the game has soured in popularity, with millions watching on TV and thousands…
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Jason Gillespie: Sends Sussex Dizzy

There is a sense of excitement and hope around the county ground nowadays, after two rather miserable years on the field and plenty of challenges off it, the professional game of cricket continues to change. Getting it right off the pitch often reflects what happens on it. Rob Andrew is a determined chief executive, focused…
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Ray Wilkins 1956-2018

Raymond Colin Wilkins MBE, often known as “Butch” Wilkins at the start of his career, was an English former footballer and at present a television pundit. He was a key midfielder for the England national football team during the 1980s, and enjoyed success at various clubs including Chelsea, Manchester United, A.C. Milan, Queens Park Rangers…
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Life & Chimes: The Pompey Story

The Chime’s of Pompey rang out to all Portsmouth fans to come to the Kings Theatre to watch a potted amusing, informative theatrical history of their football club. This highly entertaining show was introduced by BT Sports commentator Ian Darke with the help of Peter Brackley bringing his now famous caretaker character back on stage…
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Rob Andrew speaks while Chocolate Pot exchanged

The wet mist descended slowly across the empty County Ground, as a small tractor moved across the moist grass while business people sipped champagne over light conversation in the Focus conference room. This can only mean one thing – the start of the English cricket season. The 2017 squad of Sussex players mixed socially with…
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Chris Nash Testimonial: A Grand opening

The Grand Hotel in Brighton was the venue for the opening event of Sussex Cricketer Chris Nash’s testimonial year. The turnout was excellent, with a supporting cast of fellow team mates including captain Luke Wright, joining in the chat and banter. It is no mean achievement to be offered a testimonial year, normally a player…
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John Hartson: St Davids Day Lunch

John Hartson: Big Heart & Balls

What better way to celebrate St. David’s day than in the company of Welsh footballing legend John Hartson who joined a lunch on behalf of the Sussex cricket Foundation to celebrate the occasion. The former footballer, now turned television soccer pundit on BBC and BT Sports, addressed a keen audience on his career and life.…
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‘The Goldstone Days’ – 20 years on

Brighton & Hove Albion are sitting at the top of the championship, expectation around the city is cautiously positive. The Seagulls have knocked on the door of promotion (through the play off’s) three times in the last five years. Last year success seemed finally on the way, yet more heartache. This season confidence is high…
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Do I not like that

Graham Taylor was a former Football manager of Watford, Aston Villa, Wolves and England. He was also Chairman of Watford Football Club, having formerly been a football pundit, ex-football manager, and a former player. He was best known as the manager of the England national football team from 1990 to 1993, as well as being…
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Ian Wright

Ian Wright – ‘A life in Football’ Review

Ex footballer Ian Wright plots his rise from a South London Council Estate to Summariser on ‘Match of the Day’ in his new autobiography ‘A life in Football’. He lifts the lid on his career, personal life in a very honest and self-critical publication. From Sunday morning football to Arsenal legend, from professional footballer on…
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Henry Blofeld

‘Rogues on the Road’ Cricketing Masterclass

Observing Ian Botham coming towards you in a very aggressive mood at an airport, is not a pretty site on tour, but this was one of many stories told by darling cricket commentator Henry Blofeld in a short tour of shows with his old BBC Test Match special (TMS) producer Peter Baxter who joined in…
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Arnold Palmer, makes his final swing

Arnold Palmer was one of the game of golf’s most colourful and charismatic figures. It was Palmers magnificent ability and the way he played the game in the late fifties and sixties that drew the crowds and eventually the TV cameras to the sport. In his career Palmer won 91 professional tour titles including 62…
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Arsenal’s Parlour Games

‘The Romford Pele’ better known as former footballer Ray Parlour ‘rabona-ed’ an audience of sports fans at Sussex Cricket club with highly amusing anecdotes from a playing career with Arsenal lasting 12 years (1992-2004). Appearing in 333 games for the club and winning three Premier League titles (1997-98, 2001-02, 2003-04), four FA Cup wins (1993,…
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The Ivy – Charity Sports Quiz

Having attended a few meetings and late night dinners at The Ivy restaurant & club over the years, it was intriguing to be invited to a small intimate gathering of British Athletes for a sports quiz night event, raising funds for the Diana Award Charity which is a legacy to Princess Diana’s belief that young…
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Graham Gooch

Graham Gooch Speaks out !

The only time I played truant as a teenager from school, sneaking back into the house, switching on the TV, was to watch Graham Gooch bat in his first Test Match against Australia at Edgbaston in 1975. No one noticed my brief absence as I was back at school quicker than a Jeff Thompson delivery.…
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Muhammad Ali: The Greatest

Muhammad Ali is the only person in my adulthood, who I queued, three hours in the rain, outside a London bookshop to briefly meet to get his signature on his latest autobiography. Such was his immense respect, impact and likeability to millions. By then he was suffering from Parkinson’s, his hand with pen was gently…
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Lawrie McMenemy

Lawrie McMenemy ‘A Lifetime’s Obsession’ autobiography

Lawrie McMenemy was a man who came from the lower reaches of football to reach the very top. His personal journey is wonderfully told in ‘A Lifetime’s Obsession’ a well overdue autobiography. Saints fans will instinctively love this interesting and thoughtful book, but to enjoy it you don’t have to support Southampton football club who…
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Donna Fraser

Donna Fraser never caught short

Encouraged by her primary school teacher, Donna Fraser went on to have a successful Athletics career both on and off the track. She is currently the Vice President of British Athletics and involved in Breast cancer awareness with a number of leading charities. Before the starlet took to the stage at the county ground, Tony…
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4 Boxing Champs, a Drunk and packet of Persil

Four former British World Champion Boxers Alan Minter, Colin McMillan, Charlie Magri and Dave Boy Green visited the Dagenham Roundhouse last Friday to talk about their successful careers alongside some excellent entertainment. The evening got off to a great start with comedian Colin Cole working the audience in preparation for singer Izzy Chase getting everyone…
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Foxes out run the hounds

Having watched football for nearly fifty years I can safely say Leicester City winning the Premiership title is the most extra ordinary upset I have ever observed. Until it actually happened nobody could really believe it. But it has. For once the Foxes have out run the hounds of Spurs, Arsenal, Man City, Man Utd…
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T20 World Cup Eng v West Indies (Final)

Grahame Smith reports on T20 World cup final in India. Exclusively for Comicus After the two fantastic outcomes against Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Delhi, a hardy bunch of England fans turn up at the iconic world cricket venue of Eden Gardens, Kolkata. The stadium is far larger and more open than the Kotla…
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T20 World Cup Eng v New Zealand (Semi-Final)

Grahame Smith reports on T20 World cup final in India. Exclusively for Comicus So after England’s triumph against Sri Lanka in their final group game, we returned to the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi for the ICC T20 World Cup Semi-Final for England versus New Zealand. This is indeed great for those few England…
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T20 World Cup Eng v Sri Lanka

Grahame Smith reports on Cricket T20 World Cup Final in India. Exclusively for Comicus Attending the Sri Lanka v England match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi with my cricket loving partner, Ruth, there were several aspects of the evening that were contrary to expectations. The first of these was the process of just getting into…
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Johan Cruyff: Final Turn of a Master

Johan Cruyff was regarded as one the greatest players of all time, he won three consecutive European Cups (1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73) with Ajax and went on to play and manage Barcelona to their first European Cup triumph in 1992. He was unique as not only as a great footballer winning three (Ballon d’Or 1971,1973,1974) but…
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