We only dip our toes in the murky world of sport occasionally on SevenStreets – lest we mention L*** S***** again – but The Sports Book Festival looks like a treat this weekend.
Hosted around the University of Liverpool campus it boasts a fine line-up of sportspeople and local journalists discussing some of the best sport books (plus a few that sunk without trace, admittedly) of the last few years.
There’s Clarke I’m-Definitely-Not-The-Secret-Footballer Carlisle, former PFA chairman and author of one of the best books on life as a professional footballer. Jamie Carragher (his own, Carra, was praised to high heaven) in conversation. A discussion of the incredible Benn-Eubank battles of the 90s with the BBC’s Ben Dirs and Liverpool’s own Paul Smith, former British Super Middleweight champ. And that’s just one day.
Needless to say there are plenty of opportunities to hear LFC – a feature on Shankly plus Brian Reade in discussion with the daughter of Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams – and EFC, the latter chewed over by the likes of Alan Stubbs and Kevin Kilbane who will be talking over their respective autobiographies.
There are plenty of Liverpool sports journos in evidence, with Reade, John Thompson, Claire Rourke and Chris McCloughlin in evidence – don’t look for anyone connected with The Anfield Wrap though.
That might be down to the presence of Paul Tyrell on several panels – the former Liverpool and Everton press man was allegedly involved with a dossier on supposed LFC trouble-makers that compared them to the Khmer Rouge. Now there’s a panel we’d like to see. There’s no-one from When Skies Are Grey or Halcyon either and the absence of any local fan-based publications seems like a missed opportunity.
Anyway, it’s not all footy. There are detours into cycling, triathlon – Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee will be in attendance – and boxing too. Frankly, some sessions look a lot better than others. We can’t imagine a stampede to the session where Brian Barwick – whose company is staging the event – trundles through a collection of fireside anecdotes about Jimmy Hill will be quite as popular as Carra.
Still, at four quid per session it’s cheap as chips and there’ll be opportunities to meet your sporting heroes. And Brian Barwick.
The Sports Book Festival
Eleanor Rathbone Building / Victoria Museum and Gallery
16, 17 November