David Parkin on getting run over…by a golf buggy

David Parkin on getting run over…by a golf buggy

GETTING run over by a golf buggy wasn’t my finest sporting hour. It isn’t a story I’m eager to tell either. But memories of that infamous occasion came flooding back this week with news of the death of great Fleet Street sports writer and editor Peter Corrigan from cancer at the age of 80. You see it was Peter who was at the wheel of the golf buggy that landed on top of me. Given that such vehicles travel at a top speed of about 5mph you must be wondering how I found myself under its wheels. I still am too. Cardiff-born Peter’s career saw him go from tea boy at the South Wales Echo to sports editor of The Observer presiding over a team of stellar talents including the nonpareil Hugh McIlvanney. In between those two roles he worked at almost every newspaper in Fleet Street and helped write the autobiographies of England’s 1966 World Cup winner Martin Peters and rugby great Jonathan Davies. One of his biggest scoops came in 1962 when he was on holiday in Italy with his wife and bumped into Wales, Leeds United and Juventus legend John Charles on a beach. When Peter enquired: “How you doing, Charlo?” the footballing giant replied: “I’ll give you an exclusive, I’m going back to Leeds.” He was later appointed chief sports columnist for the Independent on Sunday and wrote The Hacker column about his golfing exploits. That was what he was doing when I met him a few years ago when I was business editor of the Yorkshire Post and offered a tempting “freebie” trip to...
David Parkin on firing up a Ferrari, an Endless milestone and meeting a Farage Mini-Me

David Parkin on firing up a Ferrari, an Endless milestone and meeting a Farage Mini-Me

MY memories of Chris Meek, the racing driver and entrepreneur who died recently, prompted an email with some fascinating recollections from Robert Barr, whose family founded and ran motors and coach tour business Wallace Arnold. Robert led a management buyout of the coach holidays arm of the famous business backed by 3i. And one thing his story does prove is that I actually under-exaggerated the truth in my story about a photo showing the speedo of a Ferrari driven by Chris Meek on the M1 motorway. That’s a first. Anyway, over to Robert: Chris used to come into my garage on Scotthall Road very frequently and we travelled on many lunatic trips around Ireland together back in the mid 90’s. But I thought you would be interested to know, if you don’t already, more about the photograph on the wall at the Flying Pizza. The photograph was taken by a reporter and Chris was doing an unofficial speed trial test on the M1 in order to prove for a pending court case by an Englishman against Ferrari that the 365 Berlinettta Boxer would indeed do its declared speed of 186 mph. Chris contacted Ferrari and offered to do the test, however Ferrari said that they could not officially condone Chris Meek to break the law. So Chris went ahead and did the test, with a reporter as a witness, early one morning on the M1. He took the car up to 188 mph to prove the point and they photographed the speedo at I seem to recall 186 mph which I think was the speed declared by Ferrari in...
David Parkin on a great place to eat, being put in his place and the humility missing from Mourinho

David Parkin on a great place to eat, being put in his place and the humility missing from Mourinho

IF there is a better place to eat on a sunny day in Harrogate than La Feria, then I’d like to find it. (Please email invites to this address). The tiny restaurant serving Spanish-style chicken and tapas, nestled in a former antiques shop on a roundabout in the spa town, has made the move up the road. The new site, a former pub on Cold Bath Road, is five times the size of the original venue and has a large outside garden area and stylish bar. In the last two years La Feria, the brainchild of former actor, public relations man and charity worker Jez Verity, has become a fixture of the Harrogate dining scene and, even in the first few weeks of its new home opening, looks like its biggest challenge will be fitting people into the larger venue. The menu is beautifully simple – Andalusian chicken, salads and tapas – and the restaurant and bar now has the space to stock a wider selection of new wines and Spanish beers. The charm of the staff reflects Jez’s warm approach and, with three new business partners, you can guess that the delights of La Feria won’t just be confined to Harrogate in the future. I first met Jez a few years ago when he was working for Marie Curie, helping coordinate the publicity and logistics around Welcome to Yorkshire chief Gary Verity’s New York Marathon challenge, a team which I was fortunate to be part of. Jez handled the demands of the great man with a smile. Given they share the same surname, some people assumed the two...
David Parkin on star personalities in sport and a flamboyant man who was Meek

David Parkin on star personalities in sport and a flamboyant man who was Meek

WHY TV companies persist with dull personalities like Alan Shearer and Michael Owen, I really don’t know. Shearer’s BBC documentary looking back at Euro 96 this week was so uninspiring that I switched over. Thank goodness then for a smattering of character elsewhere in sport. Smoking cigars during his round, the superbly-named American golfer Rocco Mediate shot a final round five-under par 66 to beat Colin Montgomerie in the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores on Sunday. After holing a 15-foot putt on the final hole, the 53-year-old declared: “That was sick.” Then at the Sky Bet League Two Playoff Final at Wembley on Monday, cult football hero Adebayo Akinfenwa sealed 2-0 victory for AFC Wimbledon over Plymouth by scoring a penalty with virtually the last kick of the game and then revealed he had been released by the club. Did it dampen the enthusiasm of a player nicknamed ’The Beast’ who weighs 16 stone, can benchpress 28 stone and was listed as the world’s strongest player on the FIFA 15 computer game? Not a bit of it. He embraced manager Neil Ardley, shouting: “He’s releasing me!” In a post match interview Akinfenwa declared: “Come on now, there ain’t no better way to send off. “I said let’s complete this fairytale – and that’s what we’ve done. It’s what dreams are made of. It’s beautiful.” He added: “To see this team get promoted, to score with the last kick of the game, I couldn’t even write that. “I’m going to miss this team, I’m going to miss this place, but there ain’t no better way to leave it. It’s...
COPA Euro 2016 Challenge

COPA Euro 2016 Challenge

The Sky Bet Football League season may only just have finished but there isn’t long to wait until a feast of football is served up at Euro 2016. Events business COPA has teamed up with independent corporate finance firm Sentio Partners and sports betting company Sky Bet to run a competition with a difference that allows you to prove your punditry skills during the tournament. The COPA Euro 2016 Challenge lets you to pit your wits and football knowledge against the best the business community has to offer by picking the teams, the scorers and results for selected matches. It is free to enter and the prizes include hospitality tickets to any Sky Bet Football League match next season. All you have to do is complete the entry form below and email it to euro16@copasummit.com by the closing date of 6pm on Thursday June 9. For rules and instructions on how the competition works please see the document below. For any further information please email aimee@copasummit.com We will be sending out updates after each round of group games and then during the knockout stages to all those who have entered. Good luck and enjoy the tournament! Euro 2016 Entry Form Euro 2016 Challenge – Competition Rules David Parkin Director COPA 07968 835282...