Roger Alton

Roger Alton is aformer editor of the Observer and the Independent. He writes the Spectator Sport column.

Bursting football's TV bubble. Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

If you can see top games for free, where will footie’s millions come from?

21 January 2017 9:00 am

At a wedding a few years back a very gloomy looking guest, a well-known Geordie actor as it happens, arrived…

England's Joe Root (Photo: Getty)

Shoo-in skippers are often a disaster. Joe Root could be another

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Those who occupy them sometimes say that the only two jobs that matter in England are Chief of the Defence…

Boys in blue: England and Argentina (Photo: Getty)

Ten (rhetorical) questions of sport

10 December 2016 9:00 am

1. Can anyone explain why England wore dark blue, not white, for the autumn international against Argentina, just as they…

Lance Armstrong (Photo: Getty)

The play the World Anti-Doping Agency really needs to see

26 November 2016 9:00 am

The World Anti-Doping Agency has just called on Russia to confront its wrongdoing and generally shape up. Well, good luck…

The new Special One: Jurgen Klopp (Photo: Getty)

Jurgen Klopp: the most charismatic man in Britain

12 November 2016 9:00 am

Jurgen or José: compare and contrast (and please write on as many sides of the paper as possible). Is there…

(Photo: Getty)

Come on, ref! Allardyce’s penalty was too harsh

29 October 2016 9:00 am

The other day Sam Allardyce was photographed with Sir Alex Ferguson at a Manchester United Champions League match at Old…


The inevitable waning of Wayne Rooney

15 October 2016 9:00 am

As the final chords of the Wagnerian epic that is ‘The Dropping of Wayne Rooney’ fade away, we can leave…

The man England needs (Photo: Getty)

Why Eddie Howe should be the next England manager

1 October 2016 9:00 am

The name of Jozef Venglos won’t mean much to most of us apart from a few Aston Villa completists with…

Kieran Read of New Zealand leads the haha (Photo: Getty)

Are the new All Blacks the greatest rugby side ever?

17 September 2016 9:00 am

British Lions fans of anervous disposition should avoid the telly of a Saturday morning. Live before your very eyes, as…

Cricketer silhouette on Zimbabwe blurred flag background

English cricket clubs are mad to stay away from Zimbabwe

3 September 2016 9:00 am

Make sure you tell everybody about Zimbabwe,’ said the lady at our block of flats in suburban Harare as we…

Jonathan Bairstow of England leaves the field after being dismissed by Wahab Riaz of Pakistan (Photo: Getty)

The Olympics are wonderful. Pity about the rest of the sport

20 August 2016 9:00 am

It seems like a long time ago, but back in the day, when Sir John Major launched the National Lottery,…

Soviet athlete Tamara Press (Photo: Getty)

Gender-fluid sisters and a hot-wired sword: cheating on an Olympic scale

6 August 2016 9:00 am

With the Olympics almost upon us our thoughts turn inexorably to the art of cheating. And while we should deplore…

Great Britain's Chris Froome (Photo: Getty)

Athletics is going to Rio on life support

23 July 2016 9:00 am

What’s going on with athletics? Do you know anything that’s happened in the sport this year? Has a sport ever…

Fred Perry leaps over the net to shake hands with his opponent after winning the Wimbledon men's singles final (Photo: Getty)

The tricks Fred Perry played to stay one-up at Wimbledon

9 July 2016 9:00 am

What a well-behaved Wimbledon. Apart from a bit of racket-smashing (most of the ladies), low-level swearing (Nick Kyrgios), tantrums (Kyrgios),…

Daniel Sturridge takes on Slovakia's defence (Photo: Getty)

God, Daniel Sturridge and other key England players

25 June 2016 9:00 am

‘I am grateful to the gaffer for the opportunity and to God for letting me score,’ said Daniel Sturridge after…

2016 French Open - Day Eleven

Andy Murray and the endless pain of being second-best

11 June 2016 9:00 am

The boys at Radio 5, bless ’em, are now including the EU referendum as part of their sports trailers. As…

Jonny Bairstow celebrates after reaching his century (Photo: Getty)

Cricket needs a top-to-bottom overhaul: here’s how I’d do it

28 May 2016 9:00 am

No place for the faint of heart, Headingley, and certainly not for some sketchy Sri Lankan batsmen at the back…

Leicester City celebrate (Photo: Getty)

Revealed: the true and unrepeatable secret of Leicester City’s success

14 May 2016 9:00 am

A few years ago a motivational speaker brought out a smart little book called Legacy: What The All Blacks Can…

Leicester City celebrate (Photo: Getty)

Leicester City are the most brutally efficient winners since 1970s Leeds

30 April 2016 9:00 am

It’s always good to see a great con trick in action. Take Boris Johnson: not really the lovable quick-witted scamp…

Danny Willett wins the Masters (Photo: Getty)

Well done Danny, but Jordan will come back

16 April 2016 9:00 am

Well here’s a thing: we’ve just had the first English bloke to win the Masters. Sure, an Englishman has won…

Ben Stokes celebrates England's win against Sri Lanka (Photo: Getty)

Reasons to be cheerful about cricket, football and the Grand National

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Well the sun is out, the sky is blue, and poor Boris Johnson is taking such a pounding from Matthew…

England's head coach Eddie Jones with Tommy Taylor (Photo: Getty)

The noble suffering of Maria Sharapova

19 March 2016 9:00 am

The return heavyweight bout between England and Wales lived up to its billing as the most thumping rugby match of…

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum (Photo: Getty)

Two big hitters leave the crease: Brendon McCullum and Hugh McIlvanney

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Two great men have just bowed out from their chosen trades and it is bloody sad. The New Zealand cricket…

Alzarri Joseph of West Indies U19 during the ICC U19 World Cup Final (Photo: Getty)

The angry young bowler who could take the West Indies back to the top

20 February 2016 9:00 am

In the north of Antigua, just by the medical school, is a neat little cricket ground. It was a bit…

John Terry (Photo: Getty)

John Terry’s ‘farewell’ is a load of hypocritical old tosh

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Just when you were thinking that the Premier League had become a much nicer place without José Mourinho in it,…