Monday, 14 November 2011

Radio Ulster on the ball ... and other bits of business

Quick note before the next proper posting. Whose Side Are You On? was reviewed extremely positively on Radio Ulster's Book Programme yesterday. You can hear what was said via the iplayer function. Just visit The book gets reviewed alongside a new biography of Rory McIlroy at around the 16-minute point. "It's a beautiful memoir", according to presenter William Crawley.

I'm also still looking for suggestions for your favourite ever sports books. I'm going to suggest my first five titles later this week. But by coincidence I've just been reading Jonathan Wilson's The Anatomy Of England - a wonderful dissection of the country's international football team full of incisive writing - which could easily merit inclusion, if only for the following fantastic line: "The terror of thought had been a constant in the history of English football, but in Gascoigne it reached extreme levels". Ouch! Harsh but true (and as a Spurs fan I loved Gazza for a time).

By the way, Wilson's book also gets bonus points for its passing reference to one of my favourite Northern Ireland players, the late Noel Brotherston who played for his country and Blackburn Rovers in the early 1980s. Wilson notes that Ron Greenwood noted how he turned the French defender Bossis inside out in a game ahead of the 1982 World Cup finals. Northern Ireland still lost 4-0 though.
My memories are all of him playing for his country. Any Blackburn fans recall his days at their club?

Finally, my mum texted me last week to say she'd spotted Whose Side Are You On? on display in Easons in Coleraine sandwiched between a book on Theo Walcott and a book on Alex Ferguson. Between a gooner and United's manager. I'm keeping bad company these days.

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