Simon Barnes is joining ESPN as a multi-sport columnist and writer.
Barnes had worked at The Times for 32 years, for two decades as its chief sportswriter. He left this summer stating that the paper could no longer afford his wages.
Barnes was named Sports Columnist of the Year at the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards in 2001 and 2007 and regularly featured among the short-listed entries at our awards.
Barnes has opened his account online with ESPN today by examining the context of British sports on the day of the Scottish independence referendum.
ESPN says that Barnes will “write interviews, features, analysis, opinion and more” across football, cricket, rugby and golf for ESPN.co.uk, as well as ESPNFC.com and ESPNcricinfo.
“Simon is one of those must-read writers and we are thrilled to be able to recruit him,” said Steve Busfield, the managing editor of ESPN.co.uk and ESPN FC. “I’m looking forward to his UK audience having a new place to engage with his outstanding work, and a much wider international audience learning to love his writing.”
Of joining ESPN, Barnes said, “You can watch sport through the narrow window of patriotism but you miss half the sport and all the point. I’m delighted to have the chance to write on a global platform about sport that belongs to the world.”
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UPCOMING SJA EVENTS
Thu Dec 11: SJA British Sports Awards, sponsored by The National Lottery, at the Grand Connaught Rooms
Mon Mar 23: SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, sponsored by BT Sport, at the Grand Connaught Rooms. Entry forms will be available in October 2014
Wed May 13: SJA York Races Day, sponsored by Ladbrokes, at the Dante Festival
Mon Sep 14: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill Golf Club