David Parkin on Olympic heroes, a BBC obsession and words of wisdom

David Parkin on Olympic heroes, a BBC obsession and words of wisdom

WHAT was your highlight of the Rio Olympics? I’m not asking because I’m interested, it’s just I think I’ve absorbed the BBC mentality of: if it’s not the Olympics then it’s not worth talking about. Even Carol the weather woman on BBC Breakfast was asked for her personal favourite highlight on Monday morning. God help us if some real news had broken during the Olympics. I doubt the BBC had anyone to cover it anyway. They were all in Rio wrapped in Union Jacks asking each other about their highlights from the Games. And just when you thought it was safe to go back to your TV screen, the BBC spent Monday morning mapping the British Airways flight bringing back the GB Olympic team. Then of course there were interviews with waiting families and finally the athletes themselves. I turned on the TV on Tuesday, confident I could watch something else. No, the BBC had turned over a morning news programme into a panel discussion with budding Olympians of the future. You’ve got about a week’s grace and then the corporation will be smothering us with Strictly Come Dancing’s return. It’s enough to make you want to turn off the TV and go out and start training for Tokyo 2020. Where’s my lycra shorts? ::: NICOLA Adams claimed one of Team GB’s last gold medals in Rio and the Leeds boxer put the icing on the cake for a tremendous performance by athletes from Yorkshire. Much was made of Adams’ becoming the first British boxer to win back-to-back golds at the Olympics for 92 years. But none of the media...
David Parkin finds a summer flourish at York, naked ambition in Hull and a cycling legacy to be proud of

David Parkin finds a summer flourish at York, naked ambition in Hull and a cycling legacy to be proud of

THERE’S been a worrying feeling of autumn in the air for the last few mornings. So if there is one place to go in an attempt to celebrate summer and stave off a change of season, then it’s York Races. The annual Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival is a four-day extravaganza that brings together some of the world’s best flat horses, jockeys and trainers with owners who number some of the wealthiest people in the world, along with high fashion and hijinks, well certainly on the champagne terrace. The sun came out in time for the first race at York yesterday on the second day of the Ebor. Not content with a runner in one of the races, Yorkshire entrepreneur Steve Parkin (no relation) sponsored a race through his stock market quoted Clipper Logistics business. Saying Clipper is involved in transport is a bit like saying Usain Bolt is quite a fast runner. These days it isn’t just about shipping stuff from A to B, Clipper works for some of the biggest names on the UK high street and does everything from putting the tags on clothes to handling the garments that are returned by customers. It didn’t surprise me that Steve’s horse running yesterday was called Fashion Queen. It made me start looking at other horses to see whether their names had connections to their owners. But Stop the Wages wasn’t owned by Mike Ashley of Sports Direct and You’re Fired didn’t belong to Lord Alan Sugar from The Apprentice. York is so busy on Ladies Day that you always end up bumping into people you don’t expect...
David Parkin cheers a Guinness world record attempt, gets in the slow lane for a motor and finds a way to subsidise his wine bills

David Parkin cheers a Guinness world record attempt, gets in the slow lane for a motor and finds a way to subsidise his wine bills

IT wasn’t very long ago that I was bemoaning the lack of eccentrics in modern society. Then I was introduced to a genuine, cast iron, rock solid, 24 carat one. At 3 o’clock tomorrow afternoon Ed Wood will be watching the kick-off of Oldham against Walsall in Division One. Nothing unusual in that, hundreds of thousands of football fans will attend a match this weekend. But by this time next week Ed will be going to his seventh match of the season, this time Crawley v Barnet. And for the next six months he will spend the majority of his time travelling to and attending matches the length and breadth of England and Wales. You see Ed is setting out on a quest to regain the world record he set 25 years ago for watching a league game at every one of the football league grounds in the shortest time. Having hit the age of 50, Ed Wood is taking four months off work on a sabbatical, funding himself on the challenge and risking his girlfriend leaving him as he pursues his obsession to reclaim the record he set a quarter of a century ago and raise £50,000 for Prostate Cancer UK on the way. Derby County fan Ed, who lives in Leeds, held the Guinness World Record after visiting all 92 football league grounds in England and Wales plus Berwick Rangers, who play in the Scottish league, in 243 days during the 1991/2 season. But his record was broken by Ken Ferris three years later and still stands at 237 days. Now bank worker Ed is launching his...
David Parkin ponders football predictions, Daisy Duke’s style and a Glass half full

David Parkin ponders football predictions, Daisy Duke’s style and a Glass half full

YOU know it’s been a quiet week when the highlight is being followed on Instagram by a woman in her underwear in her profile picture. Actually, it’s not been that quiet, but that particular episode did add a rare frisson of excitement during a working week where everyone else appears to be on holiday. When British summertime does eventually arrive (it hitched up its underskirt to reveal a rather shapely ankle a couple of weeks ago when we had two sunny days in succession), I’ll have a ball, but the weather forecast isn’t promising much for the foreseeable future. So my Daisy Duke-style denim shorts are staying the drawer for now. With the football season starting later today when Fulham play Newcastle, thoughts turn from the waning summer to autumn. Talking of football, one of the few lawyers in Yorkshire not currently on holiday, accosted me this week in Patisserie Valerie in Leeds. Speaking conspiratorially out of the side of his mouth, I thought he was going to reveal an impending takeover deal. “It’s the biggest thing I’ve seen since the EU Referendum result,” he confided. “What is?” “Ian Holloway’s Championship predictions for Sky Sports,” he said. “There’s not many fans happy with what he’s said about their teams in his pre-season preview.” I had seen that former player and manager turned pundit Holloway had elicited a bitter response from the new Chinese owner of Aston Villa by predicting the team which was relegated from the Premier League last season could “do a Leeds” and get relegated to League One. “They’re lucky I’ve put them this high,”Holloway said when...