The Observer’s Eddie Butler – who is also, of course, the BBC’s Eddie Butler – reveals how nearly an entire XV of former greats lined up to contribute to Wales’s public relations downfall. Gwyn Jones, Rupert ‘don’t ask me why I’m here’ Moon and the ‘lying’ chairman David Pickering might know more about what happens on the pitch than us mere mortals but they haven’t got a clue when it comes to either communicating what they know or getting other people to open up.
It is one short hop from ex-international to PR hanger-on or TV talking-head. Television has always been generous in providing a gracious get-out for fading sports stars, but most of them are woeful.
The BBC’s rugby coverage now resembles Jeff Stelling’s home for retired soccerfolk on Sky Soccer Saturday. Yes, you’re right, Brian, we don’t know what happens in the front row – we’re hoping you’re going to tell us. Thanks, Austin, we can see also see a man with a bandage on his head – but is it serious?
There’s a grand tradition of Welsh sportsmen – think Cliff Morgan, Wilf Wooller and Tony Lewis – playing a greater part in a wider world. This current lot either need to go back to school and learn some new tricks for their new trade or go back to reliving their past glories in private.
Sport and The Media Research Unit
University of Westminster