A FANTASTIC new book lifting the lid on British sports journalism has been released – inspired by a courageous family and their determination to overcome tragedy.
‘Henrik, Hairdryers and the Hand of God’ is the title and it’s packed full of exclusive stories and articles written by leading sports writers and broadcasters.
The stellar line-up includes Archie Macpherson, Graham Spiers, Hugh Keevins, Gerry McNee, Davie Provan, Pat Nevin, Chick Young and former Herald reporter David Friel.
It also includes a contribution from Herald assistant editor Alan Muir – writing on the time he interviewed the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.
Award-winning Scottish Daily Mail sports writer Brian Marjoribanks, who edited the book and wrote a chapter on David Beckham, came up with the project as a tribute to his late baby son,
Andrew – who arrived stillborn on September 11, 2011 – just days before his due date.
Moved and inspired by the subsequent flood of letters and cards from across sports-writing fraternity, Brian (35) decided to organise a book in honour of his son, with all proceeds going to Sands – the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.
Brian said: “The idea I had was for a book telling terrific sports stories first and foremost, while giving the reader a unique insight into a career that facinates many and enrages even more.
“I was touched and honoured by the response from my fellow sports writers.
“Each and every journalist kindly donated an article for no charge and it shines through in the book that it is the work of gifted professionals and good people, who love their job, adore their sport and are passionate about what they do for a living.
“The exceptional standard of writing in the book makes it a worthy tribute to my son and all monies raised will go to the Sands charity, which my wife Jennifer and I, sadly, know provide such inavaluable support to parents who lose children.”
Jennifer (30), a news reporter for ‘The Falkirk Herald’ – one of the sister papers of the ‘Kirkintilloch Herald’ – added: “This last year has been horrific for our family, but from the very outset we were both determined that Andrew’s death would not define us and that we would find a way to ensure something positive emerged from the tragedy.
“And it just so happens that the book’s launch coincided with a happier time for our family. After a stressful nine months we welcomed the safe arrival of our healthy son Fraser on August 24.
“Our precious little bundle, a little brother for Alexander (2), is going a long way to healing some of the hurt, but we remain committed to fundraising for Sands to help them support the unfortunate parents who have to go through the hellish experience we endured.”
‘Henrik, Hairdryers and the Hand of God: Extraordinary Tales from the Press Box’ is out now on paperback (priced £8.99) in all good bookstores and across all digital formats, published by BackPage Press.
Alan Muir, assistant editor of the Herald, said: “I am in awe of how Brian and Jenni have coped in the last year – they are truly inspirational and I’m honoured to call them friends.
“The book itself is a brilliant read, packed full of contributions from people much more talented than me. Make sure you pick up a copy.”
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