BBC Sports Report is the sound of our lives…and now you can read about it

BBC gear for Sports Report Credit: Alamy
BBC gear for Sports Report Credit: Alamy

Pat Murphy’s new book on the BBC Sports Report has got our man John Nicholson giddy. He loves it.

Before television took over the world, there was radio. And despite the exponential growth of visual media and the development of the digital information economy, good old steam-driven radio is still here, still a warm, familiar old friend, holding our hand, especially through our sporting lives.

And Sports Report is the Koh-i-Noor in the crown of sports broadcasting. It was here before everything else and it has long deserved to be celebrated and the BBC’s veteran reporter, Pat Murphy, has done just that with this superb book.

It’s an exhaustive deep dive into the history of the programme and the people who have been involved in making or contributing to it. No stone is left unturned and the number of people Pat has spoken to who were involved in making and contributing to it, is remarkable.

He documents the many standout moments and explores the inner workings of the broadcast and how it functions.

For a radio obsessive like me, for whom Sports Report is the planet around which I have orbited for every week of my life since the late 1960s, it is wonderfully nostalgic and sent me back down the vista of years. But this isn’t just mere nostalgia, there is plenty of insight into the BBC and Sports Report’s place within it.

Inside you’ll find everything you ever wanted to know about how the whole thing is stitched together, often via the goodwill derived from long-standing relationships with clubs, managers and players. The index alone reads like a who’s who of football and football broadcasting.

Bursting with insightful, amusing and sometimes surprising anecdotes from broadcasters and sports people, this is a tremendous book for anyone and everyone who loves sports radio, appreciates that Sports Report is always there to safely gather in all the news that fits.

Times change, trends come and go, but if this book does anything, it is to show just how important a programme Sports Report still is. In the age of disinformation, we need something we can rely on and trust. Sports Report is that broadcast.

BBC Sports Report: A Celebration of the World’s Longest-Running Sports Radio Programme is available on Amazon.

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