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Interviews with journalists and authors about an outstanding piece of writing on sport. From BackPage.

Interviews with journalists and authors about an outstanding piece of writing on sport. From BackPage.
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Interviews with journalists and authors about an outstanding piece of writing on sport. From BackPage.




Hugh MacDonald: Andy Murray, the history man

Hugh MacDonald has been a journalist for 47 years but the most fulfilling day of his professional life came in the summer of 2013 when he watched Andy Murray win Wimbledon for the first time. Hugh had followed the Murray story for years, got to know the family and became the go-to Andy Murray reporter for media around the world. Around 6pm on July 7, he faced the task of distilling Murray’s achievement into a 1200 word news story for the front page of The Herald newspaper in Scotland. Hugh...


Patrick Jennings: Lev Yashin, Bullet-maker to Ballon d'Or

If you only read one article during this year’s World Cup, make it Patrick Jennings’ extensive piece on Russian football legend Lev Yashin. The image of the flat-capped goalkeeper will be everywhere this summer as part of the branding for Russia 2018. And his story is an epic tale which Jennings tells in a gripping piece of long-form journalism on the BBC website. Built around an incredible interview with Yashin’s widow, Valentina, in the Moscow apartment she used to share with her late...


Garrincha: The triumph and tragedy of Brazil's forgotten footballing hero

If you’re a fan of football biographies, chances are you’ll have read Ruy Castro’s 2004 biography of Garrincha. It is an astonishing, idiosyncratic tale of a man who overcomes physical disability to win the World Cup and become one of the most iconic Brazilian footballers of all time. It is a bonkers story of a man who lost his virginity to a goat and fathered enough children to fill a football team and a subs bench. Brazil-based journalist Andrew Downie translated Castro’s book into...


Doctor Socrates: Andrew Downie

Socrates was one of the most iconic footballers of the 20th century. tall and thin, with a thick black beard and talent to burn, he lit up Brazil at the 1982 and 86 World Cups. But the football was only part of the story - Socrates was also a qualified doctor and political activist who campaigned endlessly for social justice in Brazil. His was a remarkable story and Dr Socrates, Andrew Downie’s biography, is a remarkable book. Here's his conversation with Martin about it. Enjoy


Henry Winter: Reporting on a World Cup

Henry Winter, chief football writer of The Times, talks about the experience of covering major tournaments as a journalist: from the press' relationship with the FA, the players who light up the interview room through to climbing trees in an attempt to glimpse England training sessions


Henry Winter: 50 Years of Hurt

In '50 Years of Hurt', Henry Winter went in search of the answer to the biggest question in English international football: Why have England not won a tournament since 1966? Through interviews with participants from every World Cup, Winter explores themes like tactical conservatism, FA incompetence, press relations and the culture of fear which grips the players. There are shafts of optimism, however, for England fans ahead of this summer in Russia.


Graham Hunter: Spain - The Inside Story of La Roja's Historic Treble

In 2013, Graham book Spain: The Inside Story of La Roja's Historic Treble was released. Graham had behind-the-scenes access at all three tournaments and used his incredible insight to tell the story of the greatest achievement in the history of international football. This is Graham's conversation with Neil White, co-founder of BackPage who published the book and believes it is the best title his company have released. To take advantage of a special offer to buy the book direct from...


Grant Wahl: Football 2.0

In Football 2.0., Grant Wahl (Sports Illustrated) breaks down the technical and tactical revolution that has transformed football through interviews with one player in every key position on and off the pitch. Wahl sits down with world-class talents such as Manuel Neuer, Vincent Kompany, Xabi Alonso, Chicharito, Christian Pulisic, Roberto Martinez and Michael Zorc to analyse hours of game footage, gaining insights that only those at the top of the sport can offer. This is Martin's...


Simon Kuper: Football Against The Enemy

Simon Kuper reports on sport and real life for the Financial Times, and is the author of several landmark football books. The first, Football Against The Enemy, made his name and won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award in 1994.


Rory Smith: İlkay Gündoğan's knee

Rory Smith spent 10 months building a story about the Manchester City midfielder İlkay Gündoğan's recovery from a serious knee injury. His feature ran in the New York Times earlier this year.


Between the Lines: trailer

Coming soon from BackPage: BETWEEN THE LINES, the stories behind great sportswriting.