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Hugh McIlvanney


1933 -

Sports journalist and broadcaster. Born in Kilmarnock, the elder brother of novelist William McIlvanney (b.1936), McIlvanney was educated at the James Hamilton Junior Secondary and Kilmarnock Academy. He began his career as a journalist with The Kilmarnock Standard (1950). In the 1960s he joined The Observer newspaper in London as a sports writer. Over the succeeding thirty years he rose to become its Chief Sports Correspondent and he moved to the same post at The Sunday Times in the mid-1990s.

Noted for his stylish prose, depth of knowledge and acerbic wit, McIlvanney is widely regarded as the most outstanding British sporting correspondent of his time. He has won the prestigious Sports Writer of the Year Award on seven occasions, a unique achievement, and is the only sports journalist to have been voted Journalist of the Year.

His reputation has gained him unique access to several leading sports personalities. He has written extensively on boxer Muhammad Ali, football manager Jock Stein (1922-85) and wrote Managing My Life (2000), a biography of another football manager Sir Alex Ferguson (b.1941). Some of his best work has been brought together as collections covering his three major interests; namely McIlvanney on Boxing (1996), McIlvanney on Football (1994) and McIlvanney on Horseracing (1995). McIlvanney also regularly appears on television and radio.


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