A Must for Any Sports Fan

“This is not just a history of sport, it is a highly entertaining insight into why spectator sport is so popular. A must for any sports fan.”

The Wishing Shelf Award

For the Observer

“…esoteric… openly nostalgic…”

Andy Wilson, Rugby League Correspendent, The Guardian

A Fascinating Book

“…a fascinating personal story… one which will prove widely enjoyable for all who have shared that experience of being a sports spectator…”

Rugby League Journal, Spring 2013

(Click here to see full page review in pdf format)

Intriguing and Engaging

“In ‘An Ordinary Spectator’ John Rigg has written an intriguing, multi-layered account of his fifty years of spectating at a variety of sporting events. The technical, cultural and familial strands all come together to produce an engaging read. John Rigg is self-deprecating but he demonstrates considerable sporting knowledge and attention to detail. The player’s insight is often transferred into the spectator’s observation.

“His personal reasons for watching sport help the reader to understand both the individual and the larger societal context for this activity. I particularly enjoyed the pen-portraits of players and events and their echoes over the years of spectating.’An Ordinary Spectator’ informs and entertains the reader but also challenges us all to think about our own perspectives on watching sport. Not least, it also offers insight for all ‘sporting widows’ into the apparently irresistable draw of sporting events.”

 Angela English

 Captivating, Poignant & Passionate

“John Rigg leads us on a captivating and poignant tour of his favourite sporting venues and memories in this passionate “pilgrim’s progress”, from childhood wonderment to middle aged reminiscence. Peppered with plentiful and enviably accurate statistics, Rigg’s paeon to live sporting experience balances the acutely personal with an obstinate objectivity, refusing to yield to partiality but celebrating excellence no matter its source.The author reminds us that sport’s greatest exponents have the capacity to transform the quotidian into the sublime in fleeting moments of brilliance, and how, when shared with treasured family members, those recollected experiences sustain and enrich our most valued relationships. A book for the sporting aficianado certainly, given Rigg’s eye for detail, but also the personal odyssey of a passionate lover of live sport – and what it can tell us about the human condition – from the humblest to the most venerated of global arenas.”

Tim Black


“A fascinating new book about sport from the viewpoint of the ordinary spectator”.

Milngavie & Bearsden Herald (2 August 2012)

The book has also been profiled in the Yorkshire Evening Post – please click here to see the online version.

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