About the Book

It is August 1961 and a 6 year-old boy, sitting on his father’s shoulders, is watching a rugby match in south Leeds. He is immediately hooked on the experience of the sporting event, viewed live and in the flesh…

…Fast forward to August 2011. A man in late middle age is watching another rugby match.

John Rigg has been an “ordinary spectator” – not only of rugby (league and union), but of football and cricket and a range of other sports – for 50 years.

An Ordinary Spectator: 50 Years of Watching Sport is a warm and engaging memoir of half a century of sports spectating – from Yorkshire to London to Scotland via New York and Sydney (and Minsk!) The author describes his experiences as a spectator at various sports events and examines what it is that has drawn him back to watch time and time again. The result is a unique perspective on why live sport is compulsive viewing.

Through its “Seven Ages of Watching Sport”, the book aims to be far more than a simple “I was there” catalogue of sporting events – major and minor – over the last five decades. Rather, it offers some perceptive insights into what we derive from sports spectating and – from an individual’s perspective – what watching sport tells us about ourselves.

John Rigg’s new book makes compelling reading for anyone who, like him, has served their time in the stands.


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