Happy birthday, Barry Davies

The SJA would like to wish Barry Davies, one of our higher profile members, many happy returns on the event of his 70th birthday today.

Davies has been a stalwart member of the SJA for many years, and is a tower of strength when he assists us with his sublime presentation skills at our annual Sports or Sports Journalism Awards.

The 2007 SJA Sports Awards are taking place at The Brewery in London on December 12 – details of how you can vote for your Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year, or book your tickets to attend this gala event, can be found by clicking here.

Davies has recently published his memoirs, and was interviewed earlier this week by The Guardian:

You’ve just written your memoirs. Did you enjoy the experience?
I enjoyed some of it. Some of it was quite difficult, like finding a chronology that would embrace various sports without making it too complicated for the reader, but not making it too easy for the reader just to just look at the particular item that might interest them, like just going into the ice-skating section.

What’s your favourite sport? You always seemed to particularly enjoy the ladies at Wimbledon
I always answer this by saying: “It’s whatever I’m doing at the time.” I don’t necessarily decide whether I’m staying at the World Cup or coming back to do Wimbledon, or going to a gymnastics event, but I’ve always taken the approach that “I’m here now, so this is the one to be enjoyed and to commentate on.”

Did you know everything about all of these sports, or did you find yourself frantically swotting up on knowing your handstand saddle-downs from your handspring step-outs?
I got into gymnastics commentating when my daughter was southern area champion, I think that’s why I was asked to do it, so I understood quite a bit about that. Rowing I got into because my son was in the Cambridge University Boat Club. The figure skating I’d presented, but the commentator, Alan Weeks, had a minor heart attack in the autumn before the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, so I was asked to take his place.

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