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.