Why Sport Is Important: Michael Parkinson 1935 – 2023
Michael Parkinson has died, aged 88. Today we re-release an interview we did with him in 2014, looking back on an unrivalled journalistic career which began writing about football for his local newspaper in Barnsley. He went on to become a well respected sports columnist for The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times, and was named sports writer of the year in 1998.
In his early days on the beat in Yorkshire he came across Arthur Hopcraft, who wrote one of the greatest sports books of all time, “The Football Man”, which Parkinson wrote the foreword for. The two were friends for life, sharing a similar philosophy on the game.
We talked to Michael about Hopcraft, football’s relevance to English society in the 50’s and 60’s, why it still matters, writing about the game at a time of huge upheaval, how George Best changed everything and why the modern game held little joy for him.
We join all those today saluting one of the greatest broadcasters of all time.
Click the player at the top of the page to play the show. Monday’s shows are free to all and to listen to our programming throughout the rest of the week, join the Second Captains World Service. It’s independent, commercial-free and member-led with feature interviews, breaking news, Ken’s Football Show, Richie Sadlier’s Player’s Chair, The Politics Podcast, The “I’ll Tell You Who Wrote It” Book Club and lots of added extras. You’ll also be supporting the development of our longer-form work, like our recent international series ‘Where Is George Gibney?’.
How good was Conan O’Brien everyone?! We hope you loved our chat with him just as much as we did
— Second Captains (@SecondCaptains) August 12, 2023