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Frank Keating’s work adorned the Guardian for four decades from 1973 until shortly before his death in early 2013. In his heyday Keating’s fizzing wordplay and sheer joie de vivre thrilled readers. They saw him not just as a journalist but as a fan who shared their own delight in sport for its own sake and in the stars who made it watchable. He also had a special rapport with many of the greats such as Barry John and Ian Botham.
From the 1970s to the 1990s he attended nearly all the great sporting events. Later he became a nostalgist with a matchless gift for bringing the past to life. But his happy, rosy, sunlit view of sport was always subject to magnificent outbreaks of literary bad temper, especially when confronted by committee-room idiots and officious gatemen.
The Highlights includes much of his best writing in the Guardian on a huge range of sport plus extracts from his work elsewhere, including The Observer, The Oldie and The Spectator – and from his books, including the autobiography Half-Time Whistle and his classic account of the 1980-81 England tour of the Caribbean, Another Bloody Day in Paradise.
Edited by his friend and colleague Matthew Engel, The Highlights is a lasting record of the work of a very special writer.
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