An Ordinary Spectator: 50 Years of Watching Sport
Author: Dr John Rigg (Trinity 1974)
Publisher: SilverWood Books
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.
This book is a warm and engaging memoir of half a century of sports spectating – rugby (union and league), cricket, football and a range of other sports – from Yorkshire to London to Scotland via New York and Sydney (and Minsk!). It is from the perspective of 'an ordinary spectator' paying his way in the stand or on the terrace.
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, why we are continually drawn back to watch time and time again, and – from an individual’s perspective – what watching sport tells us about ourselves.