Sorry, things have been quiet around Whose Side acres of late. Too much work, too little time. But I was prompted by a couple of things. First there was a tweet from former world boxing champion (and Belfast boy)Wayne McCullough which showed him holding a copy of Whose Side Are You On?, a picture that understandably made my day. Wayne gave me a great interview for my chapter of boxing in the book. If you hurry you can get his own biography on Kindle.
Then there was a comment from a Whose Side? reader Peter Baxter. Peter was responding to my choice of favourite football books. He mentioned Gary Imlach's excellent My Father and other Working Class Football Heroes and Joe McGinniss's The Miracle of Castel di Sangro (which I really need to get around to reading).
It reminded me that I've got to get a move on with my list of the 50 best sports books. Any suggestions always welcome. There's the pick of the many, many great boxing books for a start. And I'm sure there are many fine books on less mainstream sports. I recall loving Walking On Water, Andy Martin's book on surfing 20 odd years ago. Are there any great ice hockey books, I wonder? Can anyone enlighten me?
Talking of books I should point you in the direction of bespoke Scottish publisher BackPage who are just about to publish Graham Hunter's Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team In the World. They also published a fine, fine book by a Herald colleague of mine, James Morgan. A fellow countryman and Spurs fan, James's In Search Of Alan Gilzean works as both an insight into football culture in the 1960s and 1970s and a neat little mystery story. Recommended.
James has promised to write me a guest blog entry about his own favourite Northern Irish sporting hero and I'll try and I'm hoping I'll get some other writers to do the same. Again, suggestions welcome.
Oh and there might be some book festival activity this year. I'll keep you posted.