A vastly experienced sports journalist and author from Bedford is looking forward to the start of the World Cup in Brazil, after having reported on a number of tournaments during his career.
Frank Malley, ex Fleet Street sports columnist, now Chief Sports Writer of the prestigious Press Association, who has also just written a book called ‘Living on the Deadline’, detailing the inside stories of a number of the world’s top sporting occasions, is excited about the forthcoming global football competition.
Frank said: “I hope Saturday’s England v Italy game will be used as a unifying force. I was walking in Bedford High Street the other day and I saw the flags of St George flying and Italian flags too.
“Football has the power to unite different people and nationalities. I think it is the biggest sporting event in the world - bigger than the Olympics because it is more tribal.”
Frank reported on World Cups in France, Japan, Germany and South Africa said: ”I enjoyed them all for different reasons. Apart from the football itself France was wonderful for the the transport and the cusine, Japan was great in experiencing the different culture.
“Germany was enjoyable too - it was clinically organised but also because it was actually a beautiful country.
“With South Africa you had the Mandela factor and the fact they got the hosting spot on despite all the concerns.”
Frank, who has interviewed some of the biggest celebrities in sport while reporting on Olympic Games, World Cups, tennis Grand Slams and Ashes Test matches has also quizzed ex-Bedford Schoolboy and current England captain Alastair Cook on numerous occasions.
With the first Test match of the summer between England and Sri Lanka also starting today he added “I have alot of time for Alastair as he is a very nice man. He does a lot of charity work for schools cricket around the area and throughout the country.”
Wigan born Frank has also reported on Ryder Cups and once teed off at the world renowned Sawgrass course in Miami. He said: “It was a bit different than playing at my local range at Mowsbury Park, Bedford!”
Returning to the theme of the World Cup Frank said: “Let’s hope the World Cup brings Bedford people together. I hope Saturday’s game is not going to be fractious.”
Looking back on his career Frank added with a statement that many journalists would concur with: ”I know I’ve been very lucky to be in a career that doesn’t feel like work.”
Frank’s memoir Living on the Deadline is out now. All profits from his book will go to the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre.