The venue was BAFTA and the event the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. The book ‘Proud’ written by Thomas and Mike Calvin was the bookies favourite to win the award, but was beaten by a short head. The judges differed as judging panels often do. The journalists on the panel voted for ‘Proud’. That didn’t surprise me. The book is very well written by Calvin, an award winning sports journalist in his own right.
I caught up with him and Gareth Thomas to talk about the process the pair went through to deliver such a good read.
While I like Rugby Union, I cannot claim to be an avid fan. My former home was within sight of Twickenham and the hairs on the back of my neck would stand up when I heard the national anthems being sung. But my only dealings with the people who then ran the RFU put me off attending games, probably for life.
When making a film with Will Carling I had to seek their permission for Carling to walk on the pitch on a non match day. They refused. When I reminded them that Carling was the current England Rugby captain they informed me that they didn’t care about that. Nobody walks on the turf on non match days!
No wonder Will once labelled them “old farts.”
Gareth Thomas features in a documentary himself. On Tuesday February 3rd at 11.15pm on BBC1, Zipline Creatives present their production entitled Gareth Thomas: Game Changer.
I shall be watching and you might also want to. For, as with his book, you don’t have to be into rugby to enjoy the film. Gareth Thomas is about much more than rugby and I’m delighted a wider audience will get to discover that via this film and the excellent autobiography.
Here’s my chat with Gareth and Mike Calvin. Two men who have every reason to be PROUD.