Henry Winter is one of Britain’s most respected football journalists and currently works for the Daily Telegraph. His career started at the Independent and he moved to The Telegraph in 1994. A familiar face on Sky’s Sunday Supplement, Henry was been kind enough to have a quick chat with us about himself and football.
Henry has been at the top of British sports writing for over 20 years and alongside his work for both the Daily Telegraph and Telegraph online, he currently writes a column for Four Four Two and can often be heard on Radio Five Live discussing the beautiful game.
EPL Talk: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today Henry.
Henry Winter: No problem.
EPL Talk: First up, I believe you started your career with the Independent back in the 1980’s when it launched? ( The Independent launched in 1986) How was it starting on a major paper so young? Did you come to the Independent straight from University or did you cut your teeth on a local newspaper first?
Henry Winter: I managed to convince the Independent that they needed to include a sports and schools column when they launched. I’d spent the previous 12 months after graduating from Edinburgh University in 1985 producing a magazine on sport in London.
EPLTalk: You’ve been at the Telegraph since 1994, one of the things I really enjoy about your writing is that you don’t just concentrate on the Premiership. Is it refreshing to have such a variety of football to cover?
Henry Winter: Half of all football attendances in Britain are outside the Premiership, and Leeds United are a bigger club than all of the Premiership sides, with the exception of the top 6 or 7, so it’s very important to go and see them.
EPLTalk: When I was talking to Patrick Barclay, we discussed his appearances on the Sunday Supplement on Sky. Do you enjoy being on the programme as much?
Henry Winter: I love appearing on the programme because it’s a group of friends sitting around and talking football, which tends to be the way I live the rest of my life!
EPLTalk: I first came across you’re writing with the Kenny Dalglish biography which I received as a present when it was released in 1996. Did you know him well before writing it and how difficult was writing the chapter that covered the Hillsborough disaster?
Henry Winter: I didn’t know Dalglish very at all before writing the book, so I was very honoured to be asked to write it with him. The Hillsborough chapter was very difficult.
EPLTalk: I notice your last book was with David Davies, with F.A. Confidential. Was it eye opening to uncover some of the things that were going on?
Henry Winter: Yes it was but nothing surprises me with the English Football Association.
EPLTalk: Do you have any further plans to write anymore books?
Henry Winter: Yes I do, but I have been very spoiled with the subject matter so far, Kenny Dalglish, John Barnes and Steven Gerrard.
EPLTalk: Now, back to your football career. Did you play for Spartans in the East of Scotland League or have I imagined that?
Henry Winter: I played for Edinburgh University first team but as I didn’t stay on, so I unfortunately missed out on the opportunity to play for Spartans.
EPLTalk: Finally Henry, as Arsenal fan, what were your feelings on the move from Highbury and do think Arsene Wenger gets too much criticism?
Henry Winter: I have been accused of being a Manchester United fan by Manchester City fans, a Liverpool fan by Everton fans and a Tottenham fan by Arsenal fans, so I guess I’m pretty neutral. As for Highbury, the club had simply outgrown it and needed to move onwards. The Wenger criticism is ludicrous, do people want Stuart Houston back?
We’d like to thank Henry Winter for his time and you can keep up with his regular column online here:
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