Roger Alton rss

Roger Alton is an executive editor at The Times. He writes the Spectator Sport column.

Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, Marc Leishman and James Horwill (Photo: Getty)

Australia’s amazing, exhausting sporting comebacks

25 July 2015

I have never met an Aussie I didn’t like, but, crikey, their sporting indefatigability is exhausting. Don’t they ever give up? In the past few days, they have pulled one… Read more


Nick Kyrgios is exactly the bad boy tennis needs

11 July 2015

Well thank heaven for Nick Kyrgios. The lavishly inked, blinged and barbered Aussie is quite one of the most thrilling spectacles in tennis. And in a so-far magnificent Wimbledon he… Read more

Tiger Woods putts on the ninth green at the US Open (Photo: Getty)

The twilight of Tiger Woods

27 June 2015

A car crash is a terrible thing, but hordes of people still slow down to cop an eyeful on the motorway. Car-crash sport is equally compelling. In the US Open,… Read more

Australia's Adam Voges celebrates during the Test match against West Indies (Photo: Getty)

The Kiwi tourists are a lesson in sportsmanship

13 June 2015

A rather desultory Test series is taking place in the Caribbean where Australia are marmalising the West Indies, with a one-time Bournemouth club cricketer called Adam Voges scoring his maiden… Read more

Moeen Ali of England appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of Trent Boult (Photo: Getty)

Thrills and chivalry at Lord’s

30 May 2015

If heaven is a place on earth, as Belinda Carlisle so wisely observed, then surely that place has to be Lord’s on a Test match Saturday. Celestial indeed, and a… Read more

Andrew Strauss (Photo: Getty)

Ten steps to save English cricket

16 May 2015

If you watched England’s three-day Test defeat by the West Indies in Barbados the other day to the bitter end you will have heard some of the England players being… Read more

Bournemouth FC

Next time, David Cameron should pretend to support Bournemouth

2 May 2015

Here’s an election-winning idea for Dave: forget about Aston Villa (or West Ham) and become a full-on Bournemouth fan. They were on the telly the other night, all but sealing… Read more

Kevin Pietersen receives a commemorative bat from ECB Chairman Giles Clarke after becoming England's leading run-scorer in International Cricket in 2013 (Photo: Getty)

However daft English cricket gets, there’ll always be Wisden’s obituaries

18 April 2015

He’s a tall man, Kevin Pietersen, and he casts a long shadow. It loomed large over the Long Room at Lord’s last week where the great, the good, and the… Read more

Rory McIlroy pictured during the second round of the 2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Getty

Rory McIlroy and the grandest prize in golf

4 April 2015

The grand slam in golf is a feat almost impossible to imagine now. It meant winning all four golfing majors in the same year, and has only been done once,… Read more

Ben Moon in action Photo: Getty

In praise of Ben Moon: the man who took rock-climbing to new heights

21 March 2015

For anyone who knows or cares about rock climbing — a minority sport if ever there was one, albeit pretty extreme — the turn of the year was heaven. Newspapers,… Read more

French captain Thierry Dusautoir  looks dejected after his sides 11-18 defeat to Ireland Photo: Getty

I miss the days when French rugby was great. Thierry Dusautoir must, too

7 March 2015

It used to be such a treat of a winter weekend, sitting down to watch France against Wales in Paris in the Six Nations. And not just because of the… Read more

Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi bats during World Cup match against Bangladesh Photo: Getty

The Cricket World Cup needs minnows

21 February 2015

Graeme Swann arrived late for the last cricket World Cup. His wife had given birth before the tournament and he was given leave to miss the warm-ups and just arrive… Read more

Kim Sears Photo: Getty

We should be grateful for Andy Murray (and Kim Sears)

7 February 2015

It wasn’t that long ago when the most exciting event in any British tennis fan’s life was whether Jeremy Bates would make the second week of Wimbledon. If he did,… Read more

AB de Villiers of South Africa Photo: Getty

One-day cricket can make even a turbo-charged century tedious

24 January 2015

What a remarkable innings that was in Johannesburg earlier this week when South Africa’s admirable Hashim Amla carried his bat throughout the 50-over match against West Indies for 153 off… Read more

Steven Gerrard Photo: Getty

The myth of Steven Gerrard

10 January 2015

‘As a leader and a man, he is incomparable to anyone I have ever worked with.’ Obviously quite some guy, that: John Hunt of Everest? Nelson Mandela? The All Blacks’… Read more

Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho Photo: Getty

Fifteen things we learned about sport in 2014

13 December 2014

It was the year of KP, Keano and the Kiwis; of Federer, Froch and Phil the Power (no change there then); of Sochi and Suarez; of Rory and Ronaldo; McCaw,… Read more

Jim Murphy Photo: Getty

What football can tell you about Jim Murphy (and what Jim Murphy can tell you about football)

29 November 2014

The author of a rather brilliant little book about football could just hold the key to Labour’s otherwise negligible prospects in next year’s election. Jim Murphy is the last of… Read more

Pakistani former test bowler, Abdul Qadir Photo: Getty

International cricket must return to Pakistan (and my team went first)

15 November 2014

In a tiny courtyard just off the teeming alleys of Lahore’s old town, a young Pakistani boy in a gleaming white shalwar kameez picks up his Adidas cricket bat and… Read more

Day four of the second and final Test between West Indies and Bangladesh Photo: Getty

Test cricket and the Archers are both in deep trouble

1 November 2014

Lions and weasels The Archers and Test cricket: words you rarely find in the same sentence and more’s the pity as there’s not much else that can give greater innocent… Read more

Kevin Pietersen Book Signing

Pietersen’s unlikely Passage to India

18 October 2014

A typical Merchant-Ivory film, their biography informs me, features ‘genteel characters’ whose lives are blighted by ‘disillusionment and tragic entanglements’. No surprise then that Kevin Pietersen is proudly revealed as… Read more

Captain Paul McGinley lifts the trophy after Team Europe retained the Ryder Cup Photo: Getty

Please don't let the Ryder Cup go the way of football

4 October 2014

Well, that was a lot of fuss wasn’t it? The Ryder Cup is a strange old creation, only fractionally less momentous than D-Day, judging by some of the hoo-hah, but… Read more


Roy of the autobiographers

20 September 2014

It has become a weary cliché to say that a book’s publication is eagerly awaited, but when an event is this momentous — the October arrival, thanks to the good… Read more

Tim Howard confronts Diego Costa Photo: Getty

Just what Diego Costa needed: a guide to the traditions of the Premier League

6 September 2014

That excitable but likeable hombre, Everton manager Roberto Martinez, took it upon himself to give a stern lecture to the Brazilian-born Spaniard Diego Costa after Chelsea’s sensational 6-3 victory at… Read more

India head coach, Duncan Fletcher Photo: Getty

What does Duncan Fletcher actually do?

23 August 2014

Some years ago, when the last Conservative government was limping towards defeat, someone published a book called 101 Uses for a John Major. It was cruel and fairly funny, the… Read more

Adrian Grant and Nick Matthew of England and David Palmer and Cameron Pilley of Australia compete for the gold medal Photo: Getty

Why squash deserves a place in the Olympics

9 August 2014

Thank god for the Commonwealth Games: at least they gave us a brief respite from football transfer stories. Instead of having to read about an 18-year-old defender being bought by… Read more