The Anonymous Widower

Doha’s Disgrace

The World Athletics Championships in Doha is being ruined by the lack of crowds.

It should also be remembered that this may be partly due to the political situation between Qatar and its neighbours, which mean there are no flights, to allow those in the Emirates to come over to watch the action.

Those who decided to give Doha these championships, should hang their heads in shame and open their affairs to Fraud Squads around the world.

Will we be seeing empty stadiums at the ridiculous World Cup in Qatar?

Some of the athletes seem to have been affected by the heat and withdrawn from events, so will we see some footballers decide not to go to the World Cup?

September 30, 2019 Posted by | Sport | , | 4 Comments

Doping Bans For 12 Russian Athletes Including 2012 Olympic Champion Ivan Ukhov

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first two paragraphs.

London 2012 Olympic high jump champion Ivan Ukhov is among 12 Russian track and field athletes banned for doping by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Three years of Ukhov’s results, including the 2012 Olympics, have been disqualified, meaning Britain’s Robert Grabarz could be upgraded to silver.

I grew up in the 1960s, where Russian and East German athletes used every trick in the book to win.

Many clean athletes like the incomparable Kathy Cook, never won the medals they deserved, competing against athletes cheating like mad.

Let’s hope the Russians aren’t returning to the bad old days.




February 2, 2019 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

A Trip To The Berlin Olympic Stadium

My father hated both extreme-right and extreme-left politics with a vengeance and I can honestly say, that I never heard him tell a racist joke.

My father also liked his sport and always claimed he’d first been driven to White Hart Lane in a pony and trap, before the First Wold War. He said, that you used to give a kid, a shilling to hold the horse’s head during the match.

He also used to like his athletics and one day told me with great joy, how the black American athlete Jesse Owens had annoyed Hitler by wining three gold medals.

So as I was in Berlin, I had to visit the Berlin Olympic Stadium.

I arrived at the S-bahn station and walked through to the U-bahn station from where I returned to Central Berlin.

These are some of the npictures that I took.

It was a cold walk, but would be very pleasant in the sun.

February 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments

History Repeats Itself

This article on the BBC is entitled London Marathon 2017: Club runner Josh Griffiths finishes as fastest Briton.

Everybody including Josh, is surprised.

But Josh’s feat is not unique.

Ian Thompson, made up the numbers for his club in the 1973 AAA Marathon Championship.

He then won Commonwealth Gold in 1974 in a record time that still stands.

Good luck, Josh


April 24, 2017 Posted by | Sport | | Leave a comment

Up Yours, Putin!

I tend to think that the reports of doping by Russia’s athletes, like this report in the Guardian entitled How Russian athletics’ rotten system built a wall to conceal doping and deceit, could be more significant politically. than anybody thinks. After all it follows a very similar pattern to their dealings with Ukraine and other former Soviet possessions, where Russia thinks itself to be able to ignore the standards of the rest of the World.

They should be banned from the Olympics in Rio!

I also suspect that the bombing of the airliner in Egypt was not deliberately targeted at a Russian plane. If that is the case, as some experts have said, it was Putin’s bad luck and our good!

The sooner Putin is removed from power, the better it will be for everyone. Except perhaps for a few Russian oligarchs!

My father, who was a very strong anti-dictator and anti-fascist would rate Putin alongside Hitler and Stalin.

He would have laughed like a drain at Peter Brookes cartoon in The Times, where Putin is shown laying a wreath sfter the air crash, with a speech bubble of “What sort of a rat blows hundreds of innocent civilians out of the sky?” As he turns to walk away, you can see his rodent’s tail.

Is liking cartoons in my genes?

November 10, 2015 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

The End Of The Don Valley Stadium

Sheffield’s Don Valley stadium was built for the World Student Games in 1991. It was never a real success and is now being demolished.

If there is a lesson from this story, it is to get the planning of what you do after the Games right. Manchester after the 2002 Commonweath Games rebuilt the stadium for Manchester City and the London 2012 Olympic stadium is going to be used by West Ham. Glasgow’s excellent 2014 Commonealth Games imaginatively built an Athletics Track inside Hampden Park. The Don Valley stadium didn’t seem to interest either or both of the city’s football clubs as a venue after the Games, so became a white elephant.

I do think a factor was that the stadium was designed in-house by Sheffield Council’s own architects. This policy was used extensively by British Rail and created some real monstrosities in the 1960s and 1970s.

By contrast the award-winning John Smith’s stadium in Huddersfield, which I visited in the afternoon and was built a few years later, was designed by specialist architects, as have most sports stadia around the world in recent years.

I do think too, that Sheffield missed a chance here of creating a prefabicated set of stands, in steel naturally, that would have fitted the standard athletics track. After the Games most could have been taken down leaving just enough for less-grand events. As the stadium is in a bowl, surely this could have been used to create an uncovered natural amphitheatre, where most people just sat on the grass. This has been used successfully at many horse racing venues in the UK and further afield, like Ascot, Goodwood and Epsom, where these areas have a totally different atmosphere.

In some ways it’s all rather sad and it has been probably a big waste of money, that could have been better spent. Athletics hasn’t drawn large crowds in the UK outside of the big set piece games and championships. The Alexander Stadium in Birmingham seems to be more than sufficient with a capacity of 12,700 for most other events, so the Don Valley stadium was probably a stadium too many for athletics. The nearest stadia at Gateshead, Manchester and the smaller track in Leeds, seem to have successfully negotiated multi-sport partnerships and appear to be on a much sounder footing, than the Don Valley Stadium ever was.

If they’d got the planning, re-use and design right, it might have been a very different story!

April 6, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Child Wins European 400m Hurdles Gold

This headline appears on the BBC web site. Surely a child would find it difficult to jump the hurdles.

But of course the article refers to the Scottish athlete, Eilidh Child.

Headline writers should be more careful.

August 16, 2014 Posted by | Sport | , | Leave a comment

At The Games

These pictures were taken over two days at the Games.


On the Tuesday we had seats in a much better position on the opposite side of the stadium.

July 29, 2014 Posted by | Sport | , | Leave a comment

Sometimes It Pays To Have A Clearout

The Times was moving its picture archive and found some previously unseen pictures of Roger Bannister running the first four-minute mile on the 6th May, 1954.

One picture shows Christopher Brasher, Roger Bannister and Christopher Chataway in line during the race. It could become an iconic picture!

February 22, 2014 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

Farewell To Christopher Chataway

Sir Christopher Chataway was one of my heroes and he has been mentioned regularly in this blog.

But now he has died and I suspect the world will be a duller place.

I can still see the pictures of him in white defeating Vladimir Kuts at the White City. This is the BBC’s description of the feat.

His career in international athletics lasted only five years with the pinnacle being in 1954 when he set a new 5,000m world record of 13 minutes 51.6 seconds in a televised race at White City.

Chataway beat Russia’s Vladimir Kuts by 0.1 secs – the man who he had finished second behind in the 5,000m European Championships final two weeks earlier.

He might not have been a great athlete, but he was one of those rarer beings; a great all round talent.

January 24, 2014 Posted by | News, Sport | , , | Leave a comment