Sport: Bestselling author Anthony Clavane examines a Yorkshire tragedy

editorial image

Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday will be among the subjects discussed during a presentation by journalist and bestselling author Anthony Clavane tonight.

Clavane’s latest book, ‘A Yorkshire Tragedy: The Rise and Fall of a Sporting Powerhouse’, traces the link between Government’s decision to run down manufacturing industries and the subsequent problems faced by teams also including Barnsley and Leeds.

“Although the book covers the county as a whole,” Clavane, who will be speaking as part of the Off the Shelf Festival, said, “I’m looking forward to coming to Sheffield because, for me, it’s always been a city of hope. It was also where the major events which started and finished the Eighties - the Steel Strike and Hillsborough - took place. Not to mention home to two of the country’s most important football clubs.”

Described as a “lament for a disappearing world but also a celebration of the spirit that remains at the heart of the county’s sporting identity’, Clavane’s work examines the relationship between the decline of industry and Yorkshire’s success in disciplines including football and rugby league.

“Sheffield is the birthplace of football as we know it today,” Clavane continued. “Sheffield Rules governed how the game was played and were arguably more progressive than those later introduced by the FA. Even back then, there was the question ‘Do we play by their rules or our rules. I think there’s still a bit of this spirit survives today.”

n A Yorkshire Tragedy, The Showroom Cinema, 7pm. Tickets are priced £8 and £6.50 concessions.