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Festival platform as Clavane and Cowley explore football and culture

Having done much to highlight the cultural significance of football in his fine book, Promised Land, it seems only fitting that Anthony Clavane has been given a literary platform from which to expand on the theme.

He and Jason Cowley, the editor of the New Statesman, will be appearing at the Ilkley Literature Festival on Sunday (October 2nd) to explore football and culture in an event entitled Promised Land.

Clavane’s book, the paperback version of which is subtitled A Northern Love Story sets the history of a football club -- Leeds United -- alongside the evolution of a city and its communities in a wonderfully crafted narrative that deservedly won a number of awards.

Named Football Book of the Year in the National Sports Book Awards, it was subsequently awarded recognition as the overall Sports Book of the Year after a readers’ vote.  Promised Land was also selected as Sports Book of the Year by the Radio Two Book Club.

Cowley, former editor of Granta and of the Observer Sports Monthly, is the author of The Last Game: Love, Death and Football, another acclaimed work that brings together football and sociology.

The Last Game focused on the epic final game of the 1988-89 season, when Arsenal won 2-0 at Anfield to steal the title from under the noses of Liverpool, as a defining moment, a shaft of light in the black shadow of the Hillsborough disaster six weeks earlier, in the history of football.  But, like Promised Land, it has a broader sweep that places in the story against the political landscape of the day.

Clavane and Cowley will share a stage in the Conservatory at Craiglands Hotel in Cowpasture Road, Ilkley, from 4pm.

The Ilkley Literature Festival, which features more than 200 events over 17 days from this Friday (September 30th) onwards, also offers a chance to listen to Alastair Hignell, the former England rugby player, county cricketer and broadcaster, and now a busy fundraiser for multiple sclerosis, with which he was diagnosed in 1999.

Hignell will be at the Ilkley Playhouse Theatre on Tuesday, October 4th (7.45pm) to talk about his autobiography, Higgy, which tells his warm and inspirational story from his early days, to playing alongside all-time sporting greats and his work as a leading campaigner for all those living with MS.

Higgy: Matches, Microphones and MS was published this month by A & C Black.  Click here to buydirect from Amazon.

Follow these links to buy Promised Land: A Northern Love Story (Yellow Jersey) and The Last Game: Love, Death and Football (Pocket Books)

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