Writing Portfolio


Hunter Davies and Match of the Day

The football season has been going for several weeks, and that means that Hunter Davies’s weekly column in the New Statesman, 'The Fan', is back. Although best known as the biographer of the Beatles, Davies also has a long pedigree as a football writer, having written The Glory Game after a season of nigh-on unlimited access (of the sort that most football writers would kill for, nowadays) to the inner workings of Spurs in the early Seventies, and his column in the NS has spawned two books of his columns, The Fan and The Second Half; he’s also ghost-written a few footballers' autobiographies.

He can be a bit obsessive at times, but as he's writing from a fan's perspective I find that what he has to say is usually worth reading and can strike a chord at times. A few months ago, I came across an article of his in which, while describing an eleven-hour spell of football binge-watching (told you he can be a bit obsessive), he had this to say about that fifty-year-old highlights programme Match of the Day:

"Early doors, I watched Match of the Day, which I'd recorded. I go to bed at ten, so never watch it live, desperately avoiding all scores in order to have virgin, unsullied eyes. I can whizz on and miss all the studio stuff, daft talking points, pointless analysis. I have my own daft, pointless opinions."

Those last two sentences sum up precisely why I like to watch Match of the Day via the iPlayer.

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