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Living on the Deadline By Frank Malley

Release date: 13th May, 2014
Publisher: Pitch Publishing

List Price: £12.99
Our Price: £8.96
You Save: £4.03 (31%)
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There are few things more tedious than listening to people talk about their job when all you want to know is what they do for a living. Sports journalism is different, for despite frequent cuts in newspaper staff numbers and the relentless growth of television and internet coverage, the role has lost little of its appeal.

So anyone aspiring to enter a world where contact with sporting dreams and tears is the norm should read Frank Malley’s outstanding Living on the Deadline.

This is no role-call of sporting figures and moments he happened to meet or attend doing his job. Malley’s polished writing enables the joy of sporting victory to leap from the page; the despair of defeat or loss is conveyed in appropriately respectful tones.

Graduating from Liverpool University without having written for the university newspaper, Malley sought a job in journalism, approaching his first interview fancying himself as the next Michael Parkinson. He was quickly reminded of a story’s need for details of the ‘who, what, when, where, why and how’, what he calls ‘the fence posts of journalism’.

Securing a reporter’s role at his second attempt, the author takes us on a journey through many of sport’s most iconic, humorous and sombre moments.

En route, he issues an apology to Paul Ince, explains how he dealt with Eddie Butler’s ‘solicitor’s letter’, attempts to return Greg Rusedski’s serve, goes sailing with Ben Ainslie and covers everything from Mike Tyson’s comeback fight with Francois Botha to the Sydney Olympics and several World Cups.

Twice he explains the need for unexpected re-writes. First, in 1999 when covering the French Open tennis championship in Paris, he is sent to Barcelona for the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Manchester United. With minutes to go, Malley has written his piece; he needs only to press the ‘send’ button at full time and his work is done….

The second, remarkably similar occasion, was in Istanbul in 2005. He’d written Liverpool off by half time, but celebrated their fortitude at the end of 90 minutes. Extra time and penalties meant he didn’t leave a euphoric Attaturk Stadium until 2:40am – with his taxi still waiting.

“Most sports reporters are also sports enthusiasts who do their jobs for the love of the subject matter as well as the size of their pay cheque,” he concludes. Living on the Deadline explains how, if you set out to do it properly, the rest will follow.


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