Decent reviews for debut sports book

A DEBUT book by a Scots freelance sportswriter is earning itself some decent reviews.

Richard Wilson’s ‘Inside the Divide – One City, Two Teams: The Old Firm’ has taken, as the basis of its narrative, a 1-1 draw between Rangers and Celtic two years ago, to allow interviews to take place with various participants to shed light on the rivalry between the two clubs.

Writes Kevin KcKenna, in yesterday’s Obsever: “Here we have the senior match policeman, the Sky commentator, the gnarled supporter, the nurse in a Glasgow A&E ward, the hapless referee. As the narrative of that otherwise unremarkable game unfolds, Wilson uses it to jump backwards in time to recall the stories of older battles and to speak to the veterans.”

He later adds: “Richard Wilson, more than anyone in recent years, has told us why Celtic and Rangers matter and why their adherents have little of which to be ashamed and much of which to be proud. I salute him.”

McKenna’s review follows Alan Taylor’s in The Herald on Saturday (who was less entranced by it) and Richard Bath’s in Scotland on Sunday last weekend.

Wrote Bath: “Wilson is a talented, if occasionally flowery writer who knows his subject inside out. His narrative on the passion of the fixture is impressive, and the genuinely thoughtful commentary from many of the players, both Scottish and non-Scottish, who have appeared in the fixture – plus interested parties such as referees, fans and journalists – is the book’s greatest strength.”

Wilson is a former writer on the Sunday Times Scotland and is now full-time contracted at The Herald and the Sunday Herald. Seven years ago, he was named Sportswriter of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards. He began his career on the Glasgow South & Eastwood Extra weekly, before spending 11 years as a staff sportswriter on the Sunday Times Scotland.

He also writes occasionally for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.

The book is published by Canongate, at £16.99, and is also available in an eBook.