David Parkin on a little bit of the other….

David Parkin on a little bit of the other….

IF you’re going to pick a sporting hero then you are not going to be short of stories with Gazza. BBC football commentator Guy Mowbray admitted that his true sporting hero is Sir Ian Botham but he felt he should stick to his own sport when choosing a subject to talk about at the Lord’s Taverners Balloon Debate in Leeds on Wednesday evening. And it proved a good bet with Guy carrying the day on a wave of nostalgia from an audience with high hopes for England at the World Cup in Russia this summer and bittersweet memories of Paul Gascoigne crying and a Chris Waddle missed penalty at Italia ’90 and more missed penalties but that spectacular goal by the flawed Geordie genius at Euro ’96. Up against stiff competition from former Yorkshire and England cricket Ryan Sidebottom, Leeds Rhinos rugby league international Danika Priim and double gold medal winning Paralympic cyclist and adventurer Steve Bate MBE, Guy performed brilliantly. Not content with delving into Gazza’s autobiography for stories, he had spoken to Chris Waddle, for so long Gazza’s room mate when they both played for England. Waddle remembered the time the players were given access to the hotel kitchen to get snacks after training. Gazza appeared back in the hotel room with a dozen fresh eggs and proceeded to throw them out of the window at people using a cash point across the road. Then there was the time a bored Gascoigne was sitting on the end of his bed in a hotel room in Tirana, Albania, the day before an England international match and he bet...
David Parkin meets a Judge, a Sheriff and Royston Vasey royalty

David Parkin meets a Judge, a Sheriff and Royston Vasey royalty

I WENT up before a judge this week. I know what you’re thinking: not before time. But be fair – I haven’t been in any bother since the tag came off. So fortunately the long arm of the law didn’t so much mean I had my collar felt as put a friendly arm around my shoulder. I met The Hon Mr Justice Barling (or Sir Gerald to his friends), a High Court Judge of the Chancery Division, at a dinner at the beautiful home of the new High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, C Richard Jackson MBE, DL (or Jacko to his friends). The role is a royal appointment for a year and among the responsibilities of the High Sheriff, they must ensure the welfare of visiting High Court Judges, attend on them at Court and offer them hospitality. Hence the dinner hosted by Richard. So why was I there? Well due to join Sir Gerald was The Hon Mr Justice Nicklin (Sir Matthew), one of the youngest High Court Judges (he’s even younger than me) and a media specialist. So Richard dusted off his Filofax and invited a few media types including me, Harry Gration and an old chum of his from Junior Chamber days, Robert McClements. Unfortunately Mr Justice Nicklin was called back to London at short notice and so we all gathered for dinner with Mr Justice Barling, a specialist in European law and former President of the Competition Appeal Tribunal. It’s fair to say that I probably had less in common with him. But it turned out that Sir Gerald was born in Preston, where I...
David Parkin on seeing double, Tour de Yorkshire triumph, Leeds United and Huddersfield Town

David Parkin on seeing double, Tour de Yorkshire triumph, Leeds United and Huddersfield Town

TWO David Parkins. What a prospect. I can hear women fainting across Britain. And beyond. But last night, about 8.15pm in a marquee near Harrogate, that is what mankind (and the ladies) were faced with. Up popped my visage on the big screens at the Variety Yorkshire Property Awards where I was presenting some video films about some of the night’s winners. I turned around from my seat near the stage to look out across the 800-strong black tie audience but nobody recognised me as it was too dark. After a short introductory piece filmed outside the offices of law firm Addleshaw Goddard in Leeds, where the awards judging took place, I then popped up on the 12th floor roof terrace of the new Platform building above Leeds station, where, perhaps appropriately, I have an office. The building, redeveloped very impressively by property firm Bruntwood, won one of the night’s three Game Changer awards, given to projects which have made a big impact within the region. Then to bring the video segment to a close I appeared in the plush Salon Privee bar of luxury Leeds hotel Dakota Deluxe. One of the features of the Yorkshire Property Awards, organised by Variety, The Children’s Charity at Rudding Park near Harrogate, is that they have introduced a bit of fun into the event so it isn’t just about the awards. So in a series of confessions, key players in the market were exposed for past sins and members of the Yorkshire Property Awards committee had the chance to decide whether they were forgiven, or not, for these misdemeanours. They included a...
David Parkin on ABBA, the Tour de Yorkshire and going plural

David Parkin on ABBA, the Tour de Yorkshire and going plural

YOU go away for a week and it all happens. The Home Secretary resigns, Sainsbury’s and Asda announce they want to merge and the brains trust at the Football Association want to sell Wembley to an American football club owner. It all seemed to be going on last week. You’ll be telling me next that ABBA are going to release a new album. What, they are? Yes apparently the Swedish pop band have announced they are reuniting to release new music for the first time in 35 years. The news was greeted calmly by fans of the former Eurovision winners who disbanded in 1982. According to Sky News, one said: “This is the best news I’ve had in my lifetime.” Another said: “Waiting for this my whole life.” You can’t beat a bit of real perspective. ::: IF you are in Yorkshire this weekend I hope you get the chance to experience the excitement, exhilaration and general feel-good factor of the Tour de Yorkshire. This year’s race is bigger than ever and has attracted some of the best men and women cyclists from across the globe. The Welcome to Yorkshire team has done a great job yet again and the region’s cities, towns and villages along the route will welcome riders with a gusto they can have rarely seen before. I’ll be watching the big finish in Leeds on Sunday afternoon and I also attended the Eve of Tour celebration in the city’s Millennium Square on Wednesday. Riders were introduced on a big stage by a pair of slick presenters – a woman with very glossy hair and a...