Sports book a celebration of journalism and a tribute to baby son

THE stories behind several well-known sports headlines – revealing the workings of sportswriting and broadcasting and a tribute to the son of a journalist on the Scottish Daily Mail – is out tomorrow.

‘Henrik, Hairdryers and The Hand of God: Extraordinary Tales from the Press Box’ includes contributions from well-known Scots and Scotland-based sports journalists such as Graham Hunter, Tom English, Graham Spiers and Hugh Keevins.

It has been edited by Brian Marjoribanks, as a tribute to his late baby son, Andrew, who last year was stillborn, just three days before his due date. All proceeds from the book are going to Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.

In all, there are 72 contributions from the all-Scots or Scotland-based ‘cast’.

In a media statement, Brian is quoted, as saying: “The idea I had was for a book telling terrific sports stories first and foremost, while simultaneously giving the reader a unique insight into a career that fascinates 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 invaluable support to parents who lose children.”

Jennifer Marjoribanks, a news reporter for The Falkirk Herald, is herself quoted, as saying: “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 coincides with a happier time for our family. After a stressful nine months, we welcomed the safe arrival of our healthy son Fraser back at Forth Valley Royal on August 24.

“Our precious little bundle, a little brother for Alexander, is going a long way to healing some of our 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 published by BackPage Press and is priced £8.99.