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Still An Ordinary Spectator: Five More Years of Watching Sport

Still An Ordinary Spectator: Five More Years of Watching Sport

by John Rigg


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In this follow-up to his award-winning book An Ordinary Spectator: 50 Years of Watching Sport, John Rigg presents a collection of his wide-ranging sports writing over the last five years.

Still An Ordinary Spectator: Five More Years of Watching Sport captures the thrill of watching some of the best sportsmen of the modern era – Rory McIlroy, Robert Lewandowski, Cameron Smith et al – at the top of their game. But it’s not all star athletes; John also introduces the reader to the casual acquaintances he has encountered and the local sporting events he has watched during this most recent stage of his long sports-spectating journey.

From high-school American football in San Antonio to club cricket in Saltaire, the book reflects on sport’s inherent capacity to act as a barometer of the society around it with a rich combination of contemporary detail and historical digression.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781326503
Publisher: Silverwood Books Ltd
Publication date: 07/01/2017
Pages: 306
Product dimensions: 6.69(w) x 9.61(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

John Rigg was born and raised in Leeds, Yorkshire. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in economics, later completing a PhD. He has worked as an economic consultant in London and in the Senior Civil Service in Scotland.

His sporting career principally comprised playing rugby league at primary school, rugby union at secondary school and college and cricket to a reasonable club standard.

John's first book on sport, 'An Ordinary Spectator: 50 Years of Watching Sport', was published in 2012. He has also written sport-related articles for Backspin, the 'Rugby League Journal' and (co-authored with Richard Lewney) the 'International Review of the Sociology of Sport'.

John's non-sporting articles have included those on economics and statistics for the 'Scottish Economic Bulletin' and 'Scottish Economic Statistics' and family history for the 'Cleveland Family History Society Journal'.

He is married with two children and lives in Scotland.

Find out more about John and his writing at

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Football An Echo at Rangers 1

Cricket Don Wilson 3

Football Olympic Games Football… 5

Rugby League No Trains to Featherstone 7

Rugby Union A Longevity Record at West of Scotland 9

Cricket/Memory A Philosophical Query… 11

Cricket The “Nano-Drama”… 13

Cricket The Future of Test Match Cricket 16

Cricket The Future of Test Match Cricket… 20

Football Under the Rock 22

Rugby League The Elderly, Frail-looking Figure… 25

Rugby League… Martin Offiah… 27

Rugby League… Scores and Values 30

Cricket The Western Terrace 33

Cricket Proper Cricket 35

Rugby League… A New Season 38

Cricket “He’s a Player” 41

Rugby League Professional Sport: A Microcosm 44

Football Killing Time(s) 46

Sport/General “It Makes Me Realise…” 48

Cricket The End of an Era 52

Rugby League 50th Anniversary of a Torrid Ashes Battle… 54

Football Into The Valley 59

Rugby Union A Weekend in Bristol 62

Rugby Union Bragging Rights 64

Rugby League Match Programmes… 66

Football Hoardings and Plaques 71

Sport on Television Television Lines 74

Football A Polish Masterclass and “Our Club” 78

Cricket… “Hit For Four” 81

Gaelic Football “Hard but Fair From Gun to Tape” 84

Football Outcomes and Hopes 88

Cricket… Casual Conversations of a Sport Tourist 90

Rugby League The Shay and Mrs Simpson 95

Swimming We “Gie It Laldy” at Tollcross 98

Gymnastics The Pommel Horse and Darth Vader 101

Cricket… Test Match Special 104

Rugby League Gateshead Thunder… 108

Rugby Union Return to Scotstoun 111

Rugby League The Garden Gate 113

Cricket Suspended Animation 116

First World War Ruhleben 118

Football A Stramash in Paisley 121

Rugby Union Stade Toulousain 124

Rugby League Boxing Day Repeats 127

Football The Chances of Success 130

Football Internazionale 133

Rugby League A Close Rivalry of Half a Century ago 144

Ice Hockey The Clan and the Capitals 150

Rugby Union The Case for Sharing 153

Cricket Yorkshire CCC… 156

Hockey I’ll Go To The End Of Our Street 161

Football 3rd Versus 17th 164

Rugby League An Afternoon in Whitehaven 167

Cricket The Unorthodox and the Traditional 171

Rugby League The Battle for Fourth Place 174

Cricket The Past and the Present in Roberts Park 177

Speedway The Eye of the Tiger 181

Cricket “Match Drawn (Pitch Violated)”… 185

Rugby League The Spectacular and Thrilling “Boy Hero” 189

Cricket Headingley and Hove 193

Football Legends 196

American Football Friday Night Lights 199

American Football The Alamodome 203

Cricket “Death of a Gentleman” 207

Rugby Union What’s in a Name? 210

Cycling… Seeing and Believing 213

Rugby Union No New Kitchen 216

Football Allegiances 218

Rugby Union… Overlaps and Skills 220

Rugby League Two Cumbrias 224

Cycling Cycling Nun Raises Irish Hopes… 227

Football The View from the Milburn Stand 229

Football The Bully Wee 233

Rugby League Humiliation, Tactical Offside… 236

Cricket Bank Holiday Monday 241

Cricket Six and Out 245

Golf… Income Levels 248

Rugby League Eights 252

Rugby League Mr Jepson 256

Football Blue Ribbons and a Talented Sportsman 258

Rugby League Elite Sportsmen at the Top of Their Game 262

Notes 265

Acknowledgements 269

Bibliography 270

Index 273

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