How well do you know your sports writers? Take a break from the Christmas festivities and test yourself with these teasers compiled by our resident blogger Roll In Manger (anag., 6, 6… NORMAN GILLER).
See how many of the 50 post-war sports scribes – many of them current SJA members – you can identify from the anagrams and accompanying clues. Correctly identify 44 or more to prove you know the masters of our trade.
1. NEW SPORT LIE
He was the Daily Mirror columnist and had a brief reign at the Daily Express. Famously known as “The Man They Can’t Gag”.
2. ONE SHERRY
The best known of the eight journalists who died in the 1958 Busby Babes Munich air crash; a legend with the Daily Express‘s Manchester office.
3. JAMMING INN
Always had the Last Word on the Daily Mail back page, and followed his father as a Fleet Street columnist.
4. SMACK THE ODD NET
The colourful Man in the Brown Bowler, who wrote for the Daily Express for more than 35 years.
5. I GREW NIGHT EGO
Ringside boxing reporter for the Evening Standard for more than 30 years, who often wrote in partnership with cartoonist Jak.
6. SHUN HER LONG TRY
Forty years the Sunday Times golf correspondent, he was the man at the mike for the BBC before Peter Alliss.
7. JOCK HAD NO COW
He was The Times man at the Tests for more than 400 matches, and was cricket correspondent from 1954 to 1988.
8. RUINING A POLE
All-round sports reporter with the Daily Sketch and later tennis writer for the Daily Mail; followed his father into the Street.
9. I HIT MPS POLL
He was always putting his shirt on losing boxers and horses, and wrote for the Daily Mirror and then the Daily Herald.
10. FREE FOG ENERGY
The Times “Association Football” correspondent, who was a regular voice on Sports Report when Eamonn Andrews was the presenter.
11. FELT ARK BURN
He followed his father as News of the World sports editor and columnist, and was an acclaimed boxing reporter.
A Scot who was sports editor and columnist for the Daily Herald and Sunday Mirror, and a pioneer presenter of Match of the Day.
13. MAD DIVER ILL
Lord Coe hosted a party at the House of Lords for this sports writer to celebrate his 50 years in newspapers with the Express, Times and at the Telegraphs.
14. REGRET DUET GIG
London Evening News boxing correspondent for 35 years, and ITV’s regular ringside commentator
15. OR I’D WIDEN GOAL
Cricket reporter for the News Chronicle and Daily Mail before becoming an award-winning columnist.
16. SHUN ED SHYLY
The son of Britain’s top pre-war boxing promoter, he became athletics and boxing correspondent for the Daily Express.
17. JABS AIRMEN
He was the Daily Mail‘s chief football reporter throughout most of the 1960s and covered England’s World Cup triumph.
18. LIVING NEAR BALL
Football correspondent for the Sunday Times for nearly 30 years, he is a celebrated novelist and speaks fluent Italian.
19. PEAS OR MILK IN CHINA
Has managed to remain a prominent sports columnist while establishing himself as a broadcasting legend.
20. MY LEAVING HUNCH
The only sports writer to be voted Journalist of the Year, with The Observer and Sunday Times among his parade of papers.
21. ALIGN MY KEEL
He wrote for the Daily Express and People, and was an international award winner at the 1970 World Cup finals.
22. FREAK ANT KING
Former chief sports writer for the Guardian and still spreading his gold dust in the paper as a columnist.
23. RUB A LAB HAND
One-time sports editor at the Mail on Sunday and The Observer, was Olympic Sports Journalist of the Year in 1992.
24. MARINE SNOBS
Chief sports writer of The Times and a novelist who also writes a wildlife column.
25. IRON LATCH
He reported boxing, athletics and showjumping for The Sun for more than 30 years, and continues to write a boxing column.
26. GENERIC PARROT
A Welsh word wizard who has adorned the pages of the Daily Herald, Daily Mail, Observer and Independent.
27. OLD RAIN TANK
Winner of the Sports Writer of the Year award in 1983, and for many years an outstanding observer of the sports scene.
28. JELL OFF PEW
Daily Mail columnist who was Sports Writer of the Year in 1985, and famously got the “Don Revie Deserts England” scoop.
29. ADD SHIV LAW
Irishman who won SJA Sports Writer of the Year award in 2000 for his Sunday Times columns.
30. TWO LANE JAMS
An award-winner with the Daily Express and Independent, he had a spell with the Vancouver Sun and his Tiger, A Hockey Story book was a best seller.
31. LEAN ALE
SJA Sports Writer of the Year during a long spell as Times cricket correspondent, he switched successfully to the horse racing scene.
32. CUE HILL JEW
Fleet Street’s first female football writer in 1969, she has since established herself across the board including books and screenplays in her output.
33. HE PENS ON JETS
The reporting of this Welshman’s view of England winning the World Cup in Australia in 2003 earned him the SJA Sports Writer of the Year award.
34. VILLA MECHANIC
A master of communications, this Sunday Mirror columnist was voted Sports Writer of the Year when on the Daily Telegraph.
35. A DUCKY MAN CAN
Publisher and editor of insidethegames.biz, was the 2004 Sports Writer of the Year when with The Guardian.
36. LOCAL PINTS
He has set new standards as a five-times winner of the Sports Writer of the Year Award; followed his father into journalism.
37. TOTE SUM
She is fruitfully freelancing after 12 years as sports columnist, feature writer and chief interviewer at the Daily Telegraph.
38. HURL PAD AWAY
Currently chief sports writer at the Guardian/Observer, he was an award-winner while at the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.
39. ALARMIST MENU
A multi-award winner who made a headline-hitting transfer from The Times to the Daily Mail in 2008.
40. BY PRACTICAL ARK
This Dundee Football Club supporter and author of Anatomy of A Winner is now the chief football commentator at The Times.
41. A DISTINCT MONK
Cambridge University-educated, he first made an impact on the Daily Express before switching to The Times.
42. THICK EVEN MILL
Sports Writer of the Year in 1999, he is also an acclaimed author who wrote War Baby â€” the Glamour of Violence.
43. LOBS ON ICING
A poacher turned gamekeeper, he becomes ICC head of media in February. He was Sports Writer of the Year in 1998.
44. A BOWLING HONOUR
A familiar face as an anchorman on Sky Sports, he transferred from The Sun to the Daily Star as chief sports writer.
45. YELL DESK
This Daily Mail columnist had a spell as Acting Editor of the Daily Mirror, and is a regular broadcaster.
46. RADICALISM WHIRL
As comfortable writing about rock music as sport, this gifted all-rounder is chief sports writer for The Guardian.
47. TAKE MOTHER IN
He once accumulated runs as England cricket captain and is now accumulating prizes as cricket writer for The Times.
48. ROLL TO HIVE
SJA Sports Columnist of the Year in 2008, he had made a surprise move from The Times to the Daily Mirror in 2002.
49. DEPRIVES KING
An award-winner for his coverage of the F1 circuit, he was promoted to chief sports writer of the Daily Telegraph in 2008.
50. HARVESTED NOW
A Wapping veteran who followed John Sadler as the chief sports columnist at The Sun.
Click here for the answers from Saturday (Dec 26).
I hope you all have a cheerful Christmas and a New Year of peace and prosperity (I have reached the old fart stage where I am more interested in posterity).
Read previous Norman Giller columns by clicking here.
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