Hugh McIlvanney – the press box statesman who turned British sports writing into literature

Hugh McIlvanney - the press box statesman who turned British sports writing into literature

From the 1970s on, many young authors who liked books and sport tried to write like Martin Amis or Hugh McIlvanney – and sometimes both. Plenty ended up on the floor in a tangle of words.

McIlvanney, who has died aged 84, was inspired by the great American tradition of reportage to turn British sports writing into literature. In his youth, sports reports in newspapers would have been blocks of information or formulaic dispatches. In a golden age for both sport and the reporting of it, McIlvanney saw a chance to make epic non-fiction in particular out of football, boxing and horse racing – his three favourite sports. Journalists, and sport itself, owe him and his contemporaries a debt for delving…

Source link