Inside out: Britain’s first indoor football league

In the early 1900s, an eccentric scheme to create Britain’s first indoor football league was opposed by the FA and ended in disaster for its protagonists. In the winter of 1905, an American entrepreneur launched an eccentric scheme to create Britain’s first indoor football league. The venue was London’s Olympia, the largest indoor arena in […]

How to become a sporting journalist

My article on the pioneering BJ Evans and his 1946 careers guide / memoir How to Become a Sporting Journalist is in the latest issue of When Saturday Comes. Evans was regarded as a ‘master craftsman of sports journalism’, and his book inspired writers including the late Frank Keating. The book offers an entertaining glimpse […]

Tour de force: Newcastle’s epic 1949 US and Canada tour

As football clubs head off on their pre-season tours, this article tells the story of Newcastle United’s epic 1949 tour of the US and Canada. It was remarkable for several reasons, most notably because Jackie Milburn scored 31 goals in 31 days, and Newcastle chalked up the biggest win in the club’s history. “The fog-delayed […]

Your next box set: John from Cincinnati

A piece for the Guardian G2’s ‘Your next box set’ column about the US TV show John from Cincinnati. “‘The end is near,’ says mysterious stranger John in the opening scenes of John from Cincinnati. His words are prophetic, as this under-appreciated show from David Milch (creator of Deadwood and Luck) only lasted 10 episodes. […]

Your next box set: Boomtown

An article for the Guardian’s G2 column ‘Your next box set’ on the US TV show Boomtown. “London has got the Thames, Paris has got the Seine, LA has got a concrete drainage ditch.” That’s our introduction to Boomtown, a city that rises out of the California dust in the opening sequence of this short-lived […]

Rebranding of St James’ Park

Piece written for The Guardian on the renaming of Newcastle United’s St James’ Park. “It was all going so well. Perhaps too well, with hindsight. The announcement that Newcastle United’s ground, St James’ Park, is to be renamed the Sports Direct Arena has shattered the fragile truce between the football club’s supporters and its owner, […]

How to turn iPhone app ideas into cash

Got an idea for a killer iPhone app? With more than 1bn applications sold since its launch last July, Apple’s iPhone App Store has become one of the fastest-growing tech enterprises in recent history, and gained a reputation as something of a developer’s goldmine. Success stories such as that of Ethan Nicholas, whose iShoot app […]

The ebook format war

It was clear from this week’s London Book Fair that the UK publishing industry is finally ready to embrace ebooks. But before the ebook can really challenge its paper equivalent, the industry has to avert a format war a whole lot more complicated than VHS vs Betamax… Read the full story at The Guardian.