20141022

Impressive cast of top authors appearing at four-day London Festival of Sports Writing

Lord's cricket ground this week hosts an event the organisers hope will become an important annual fixture on the sports books calendar as the home of cricket stages the London Festival of Sports Writing for the second time.

A host of authors will take part in four days of fascinating conversation over a series of talks, panel discussions, book signings and masterclasses.
Top-of-the-bill Roy Keane's appearance on Saturday evening, when he will be discussing his hard-hitting new autobiography, The Second Half, with co-author Roddy Doyle has already sold out, but there plenty of other opportunities to listen to other authors talking about their work.

Brian Moore, the former England and Lions hooker, appears on tomorrow's programme with the Mail on Sunday's Alison Kervin to discuss his latest book, What Goes on Tour Stays on Tour, due out next month, a memoir that happily promises not to live up to its title.

Moore, now a columnist and pundit, won the 2010 William Hill Sports Book of the Year for Beware of the Dog.

Also tomorrow, Sunday Times journalist Simon Wilde, author of On Pietersen, a fine, objective account of the career of Kevin Pietersen published just ahead of KP's own story, takes part in a three-way chat with the Daily Telegraph's Nick Hoult and The Sun's John Etheridge in the company of Wisden editor Lawrence Booth, of which the subject, naturally enough, will be English cricket's greatest enigma.  A question and answer session with the audience follows.
An exciting programme on Friday includes several Festival highlights, among them an appearance by the former Wales and Lions captain Gareth Thomas, the first professional rugby player to announce that he was gay, who will talk about his autobiography Proud in conversation with Independent on Sunday sports writer Michael Calvin, who has already won praise for his sensitive handling of Thomas's story in his collaboration on the book.

Also on Friday, Times journalist Matt Dickinson sits down with former West Ham and England footballer Sir Trevor Brooking to talk about Bobby Moore, England's World Cup-winning captain, who is the subject of a superb biography by Dickinson, entitled Bobby Moore: The Man in Full.  Brooking has recently published his own autobiography, My Life in Football.
They will be followed on stage by Observer football writer and Arsenal fan Amy Lawrence in the company of former Arsenal vice chairman David Dein and central defender Sol Campbell, who will talk about the so-called Invincibles, the Arsenal team of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires that went unbeaten throughout the 2003-04 season.  Amy's book Invincible: Inside Arsenal's Unbeaten 2003-04 Season is published tomorrow.

Apart from Keane and Doyle, Saturday's programme includes what promises to be a fascinating discussion between the Dutch journalist Hugo Borst, writer and broadcaster Gabrielle Marcotti and Dutch football expert David Winner on the subject of the Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, about whom Borst wrote a best-selling biography.

The Festival concludes on Sunday with a day devoted to cycling, which has seen an explosion in literature in the last few years.  Speakers and panellists include Emma O'Reilly, former masseur to disgraced Tour de France legend Lance Armstrong and the former World and Olympic champion Nicole Cooke, whose autobiography, The Breakaway, lifted the lid on a host of dirty tricks, underhand dealings, self-serving officials and, most vehemently, the drug cheats she encountered in her career.

The London Sports Writing Festival at Lord’s, which takes place this week from Thursday October 23 to Sunday October 26, is jointly hosted by David Luxton Associates and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), in partnership with the London Evening Standard.

For full details of the Festival programme, with details on how to buy tickets, visit www.londonsportswritingfestival.com. 

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