Voters still don’t know what Keir Starmer stands for

22 June 2024 9:00 am

Keir Starmer is frustrated. He wants to talk about the future but interviewers like me will insist on asking him…

Poland 1–2 Netherlands

17 June 2024 5:19 am

Poland’s manager, Michael Probierz, wore a shapeless tweed-ish suit with bulging waistcoat and, when the Dutch scored their winner, had…

Gareth Southgate has finally shown some bottle

22 May 2024 2:52 am

The provisional England squad for the Euros unveiled by manager Gareth Southgate contains one notable omission: Jordan Henderson. That’s a…

Is pro-golf eating itself?

18 May 2024 9:00 am

Spare a thought for Manchester United’s Erik ten Hag. He’s got a fairly crummy, injury-hit team who appear to have…

The strikers giving Southgate a headache

4 May 2024 9:00 am

Poor Gareth Southgate. Having three outstanding finishers is giving him a thumping headache ahead of the European Championship. Harry Kane,…

Wayne Rooney, the war buff

27 April 2024 9:00 am

I blame Thierry Henry and I never blame Thierry for anything. He’s funny, charming and was a majestic footballer. But…

County cricket needs Bazball

6 April 2024 9:00 am

It’s freezing cold and everywhere is flooded, so it must be the start of the county cricket season. Surrey, last…

Surprise package: Tackle!, by Jilly Cooper, reviewed

16 December 2023 9:00 am

Rupert Campbell-Black (‘still Nirvana to most women’) decides to buy a football club – to the amazement of Rutshire, and no doubt Cooper’s devoted readers

How sport helped shape the British character

2 December 2023 9:00 am

David Horspool connects different sports to our historical experience: cricket with class, golf with property rights, tennis with female emancipation and boxing with ethnicity

Surprisingly addictive and heartwarming: Netflix’s Beckham reviewed

28 October 2023 9:00 am

If you’re not remotely interested in football or celebrity, I recommend Netflix’s four-part documentary series Beckham. Yes, I know it’s…

A tribute to Alf Ramsey, football’s forgotten hero

2 September 2023 9:00 am

England’s 1966 World Cup triumph owed much to the team’s dedicated manager, loved by his players but monstrously treated by those in charge of the FA


26 August 2023 9:00 am


26 August 2023 9:00 am

What the future holds for women’s football

21 August 2023 1:13 am

Well, that’s the end of that. Football, like an unrepentant runaway, stubbornly refuses to come home. Spain, deservedly probably, edged…

Real football fans watch non-League football

19 August 2023 9:00 am

How to watch real football

Magic tricks

19 August 2023 9:00 am

Five short stories with male narrators – including a seahorse and a vampire – revolve around masculinity’s contradictory demands and the wish to belong

Am I allowed to make fun of women’s football?

12 August 2023 9:00 am

I’m loath to write about the current Fifa World Cup because criticising women’s football is textbook ‘misogyny’ – at least,…

Much of the mysteriousness is inadvertent: ITV’s The Reunion reviewed

12 August 2023 9:00 am

The Reunion opened in 1997 with some young people being carefree: a fact they obligingly signalled by zipping around the…

What does a supercomputer say about QPR’s chances?

5 August 2023 9:00 am

The football season gets under way again on Saturday – or at least it does if your team isn’t in…


5 August 2023 9:00 am

The Premier League’s sleeping pill problem

5 August 2023 9:00 am

Football’s sleeping pill problem

Football fans’ loyalty no longer lies with clubs, but players

29 July 2023 9:00 am

Football fans’ loyalty no longer lies with clubs, but players

Gruesome British folk sports – from cheese-rolling to Hare Pie Scramble

3 June 2023 9:00 am

Harry Pearson’s tour of village games over the centuries even includes a Georgian football match where an Englishman’s severed head was used as the ball


27 May 2023 9:00 am

Is Uefa just useless – or is it worse than that?

27 May 2023 9:00 am

It’s not clear how many readers of this journal will be affected, but anyone planning a stag weekend in Prague…