Bob Humphrys

Not a Proper Journalist

Not a Proper Journalist


Bob Humphrys is one of the most famous names in sports journalism. As sports correspondent of BBC Wales's flagship news programme Wales Today, he was at the centre of every major story of the past twenty turbulent years. He was there right at the heart of Ruddockgate, there on the players' balcony when Glamorgan celebrated winning a county championship, there in the Mondeo driving Joe Calzaghe to his first world title fight. In short, he was where every sports fan would love to be - as close to the action as you can get without scoring a try, taking a corner or hitting a four.

Despite a life-long love affair with sport, Bob wasn't always a sports journalist. Early in his career, his brother John - the Rottweiler of Radio 4's Today programme - took him aside and told him, 'The one thing you want to avoid is covering sport - that is not proper journalism.' But the man who always read his newspaper from back to front found it hard to resist sport's magnetic pull. After his successful stints as a feature writer and current affairs reporter - encountering everyone from Argentinian presidents to Danish drug dealers and Sir Anthony Hopkins - the BBC's Wales Today came calling, and Bob quickly discovered the politics in current affairs paled into insignificance compared to the politics in sport. In Bob's first week in the job, Welsh rugby imploded with a rebel tour to South Africa - and for the next twenty years Welsh sport would lurch from triumph to disaster and back again, with Bob right there in the middle, loving every moment.

Tragically, Bob Humphrys died in August 2008. But he left a magnificent epitaph: this book. In Not a Proper Journalist, the former face of Welsh sport reveals for the first time the story behind the stories. The friendships, the feuds, the glory and the heartbreak, straight from the horse's mouth. It's revealing, exhilarating, provocative and very funny - and if that's not proper journalism, brother John can eat his hat...