Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain (Photo: Getty)

A World Championships that puts Sebastian Coe on the right track

5 September 2015

Sebastian Coe’s new job as head of world athletics will be a heck of a lot easier thanks to the outstanding World Championships that just finished in Beijing. He has… Read more


Why nothing in sport beats thrashing the Aussies at cricket

15 August 2015

Adelaide airport, 2006. One of those serpentine check-in queues that bring you face to face with a long series of different people. I was leaving, everyone I knew in the… Read more

Mario Balotelli (Photo: Jamie McDonald/Getty)

I've loved football for decades. Now I dread the start of the season

8 August 2015

What a terrific summer of sport it’s been: a wonderful Wimbledon, a rollicking Royal Ascot, an absorbing Ashes series that still has the best part of two Tests to go.… Read more

The edge of the Gobi desert, some 100km northwest of Beijing (Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty)

The madness of the Beijing Winter Olympics

8 August 2015

Jumping the shark isn’t yet an Olympic sport, but if it were the International Olympic Committee would be a shoo-in for gold. And silver and bronze too. Amid some low-key… Read more

Where ‘big ask’ came from, and why it still sounds barbaric

8 August 2015

‘That’s unnecessarily crude,’ said my husband, turning momentarily from the television and improving the shining minute by setting the whisky glass chinking. (He takes ice in it.) ‘What? A “big… Read more

1 August 2015

Safe house Lord Sewel is unique in leaving the House of Lords in disgrace. Until the House of Lords Reform Act 2014, only a treason conviction earned you expulsion from… Read more

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


The dark heart of croquet

18 July 2015

I have always been what I suppose one could call a weed, and a cowardly one at that. I never liked sports and was never any good at them. When… Read more

England v New Zealand - 5th ODI Royal London One-Day Series 2015

Hallelujah! The England cricket team is fun again

4 July 2015

Something wonderful is happening in English cricket. The Ashes are upon us and, at last, the England team seem determined to play the right way. The recent series against New… Read more

Baileys Women's Prize For Fiction 2015 Shortlist Announcement

Rachel Johnson

27 June 2015

My husband says I only write books in order to have a launch party. Not so. I also write books in order to give the author speech at the party.… Read more


Why sport and sham morality go so well together

27 June 2015

Wimbledon next week. Like the tournament dress code, all sports want their heroes white. In terms of virtue rather than skin colour. Sport demands the appearance of righteousness. Its default… Read more

20 June 2015

Q. I was at the theatre recently and bumped into a well-known Liverpudlian crooner coming out of the disabled lavatory. She said ‘Don’t worry, luv, it’s fine to use them… Read more


A girl's guide to sporting crowds

13 June 2015

The Season — Wimbledon, Ascot, Henley etc — is a social construct arranged largely around sporting fixtures. This makes it peculiarly fraught for women. What do we wear? Say? What is the… Read more


Roger Federer helped me through my nervous breakdown, says William Skidelsky

13 June 2015
Federer and Me: A Story of Obsession William Skidelsky

Yellow Jersey, pp.276, £16.99, ISBN: 9780224092357

Good writing about sport is rare — and good writing about tennis is that much rarer — so it’s conspicuous that we’ve had so much of it about Roger Federer.… Read more

Pliny the Younger on Fifa

6 June 2015

In any huge enterprise (like Fifa), where does the rot begin? Pliny the Younger mused on this question in a letter to a friend about a games festival held in… Read more


The hottest tipster in golf

23 May 2015

Why would anyone bet seriously on golf? It’s fun to have a little punt on the big tournaments — but you’d have to be a moron to put real money… 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


Fatherhood is killing me

25 April 2015

Not a day passes when I don’t look on my father’s record with shock and awe. I’m not talking about his authorship of Labour’s 1945 manifesto, his invention of the… Read more


Sam Waley-Cohen’s Grand National notebook

11 April 2015

‘How’s your shoulder?’ someone asked recently, and it was only then I realised, for the first time in a while, that my shoulder felt good again. In last year’s Grand… 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

A print of girls in a gym from 1884

2,5000 years of gyms (and you’re still better off walking the dog)

7 March 2015
The Temple of Perfection: A History of the Gym Eric Chaline

Reaktion Books, pp.272, £20, ISBN: 9781780234496

My favourite fact about gyms before reading this book was that the average British gym member covers 468 miles per year and the average British dog walker 676. Eric Chaline’s… 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

Harry Redknapp Photo: Getty

Like Arthur Daley playing Garry Kasparov: why I won’t miss Harry Redknapp

7 February 2015

I can’t say I’m surprised by the departure of Harry Redknapp. Since I started supporting Queens Park Rangers in 2008 we’ve gone through seven managers — 13 if you count… 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

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