In the news · Sport

Football in the afterlife, and a Leeds United starting XI 

Most weeks there are news stories about the chronic health problems and deaths of sporting legends. This week we learnt that former England cricket captain Ted Dexter had died, and that former Middlesbrough, Leeds and England footballer Alan Peacock was diagnosed with dementia in 2018. Like Denis Law, who announced his dementia diagnosis earlier this month, he wanted to raise awareness of the issue. I have supported Leeds United since childhood, and the roll call of former… Continue reading Football in the afterlife, and a Leeds United starting XI 

Sport · Word of the week

Word of the week: Rabona

Rabona is a word I have been meaning to write about for several months. I had never heard it before March 2021, but it has entered into the vocabulary of football-watchers, taking its place with Panenka. I could try and describe both techniques, but will use a couple of Wikipedia entries instead.   As you can read here, “the Rabona is the technique of kicking the football where the kicking leg is crossed behind the… Continue reading Word of the week: Rabona

Notes from West London · Sport

The 50th Premier League team

The Premier League began last weekend. As I’m sure you know, it is the top division in English football. This is the League’s 30th season. If you are under 40, or do not follow football closely, you might not remember its predecessor, Division One of the Football League. None of the current squad members played in that division. If they had, they would be at least 46 now, and the oldest player… Continue reading The 50th Premier League team

At the movies · Home life · Sport · Word of the week

Word of the week: Sayonara

The Tokyo Olympics finished yesterday. We had got used to the Olympic Breakfast programme every morning on BBC1, catching up on the overnight action, and we’ll miss it. The show usually involved news of gold medals for Team GB, right up to yesterday morning when Jason Kenny (Keirin, cycling) and Lauren Price (boxing) completed the medal tally to leave GB fourth… Continue reading Word of the week: Sayonara

Notes from West London · Sport

Kilkenny lose to Cork, just like the old days

Regular readers of this Blog will know that there are two sports teams that I follow more keenly than any others: Leeds United (English football) and Kilkenny (All-Ireland hurling), known by supporters and non-supporters alike as The Cats. Over the course of 10 seasons, beginning in 2006, Kilkenny won 8 All-Ireland titles, an unprecedented run… Continue reading Kilkenny lose to Cork, just like the old days

Home life · Notes from West London · Sport

My family’s 74-year span of athletics times

Last month, sorting through a large plastic storage box full of cards, invitations, old paperwork and newspapers from significant dates, I found this: It’s a notebook dating back to 1947 containing my father’s handwritten records of his athletics achievements: distances and times in the events he competed in at various meetings all over Ireland. He… Continue reading My family’s 74-year span of athletics times

Home life · In the news · Sport

The weekend’s sport: an Italian defeat in a final, an England win, and my choice of beer

Over the weekend here in London, there was victory for the England international team and an Italian defeat in a final. Unfortunately for all of us who wanted England to win the rescheduled Euro 2020 football tournament, the Italian defeat came in a tennis final (Matteo Berrettini lost to Novak Djokovic in the men’s singles… Continue reading The weekend’s sport: an Italian defeat in a final, an England win, and my choice of beer

Sport

All the things that didn’t matter, last season

The English football season is almost over. There are play-off finals in the coming week to determine the final promotion places in the second, third and fourth tiers of the professional game. In the top division, the Premier League, last Sunday’s final round of fixtures settled the few remaining issues, mainly related to European qualification. The relegation places had been confirmed with three matches to spare, and Manchester City were crowned… Continue reading All the things that didn’t matter, last season