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Award-winning journalist pens book about ‘crisis club’ he covers

An award-winning sports journalist has written a new book about the “crisis club” he covers.

Neil Allen, chief sports writer with Portsmouth daily The News, has is set to release ‘Pompey: The Island City With A Football Club For A Heart’ on Thursday.

The book follows the progress of Portsmouth Football Club during the 2019-20 season, through exclusive behind-closed-doors access.

Neil has been named the SJA’s Regional Sports Writer of the Year for the past two years, while this year he also won Daily Sports Writer of the Year at the Regional Press Awards.

Island City

Discussing the book, his fourth about the club, Neil told HTFP: “It also examines the rise, fall and rise again of arguably the greatest ‘crisis club’ of them all – and speaks to the city’s community who stepped forward to save it from being liquidated.

“Of course, I wasn’t anticipating coronavirus and the impacts of that, including seven players testing positive – one of them twice.

“Publically, no football club was affected by coronavirus cases more than Pompey.

“Still, it has ended up doubling in size considering how the season panned out, with 57 interviews and a foreword written by [football commentator’ Ian Darke.”

Gary Bills 1A reporter who was placed on furlough leave used the time to get a collection of poetry published.

Gary Bills-Geddes, who works for the Worcester News and Ledbury Reporter, was among the regional journalists to be furloughed as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

During his time away from the office, he compiled his third collection of poetry, entitled ‘Laws for Honey’.

It has now been published by Liverpool-based published Erbacce Press.

Gary, pictured, told the News: “Many of the poems in the collection were written a while ago, and others are new; but there is a strong local theme for several of them.

“For example, one poem celebrates the Malvina Fountain at Malvern, and another recalls a time when we were living at Wellington Heath, near Ledbury, and a hot air balloon floated overhead.”

The book can be found here.

Emma ChristieA regional journalist who moved to Barcelona has taken inspiration from her former career for her debut novel.

Emma Christie’s The Silent Daughter tells the story of news reporter Chris Morrison.

Emma, pictured, worked on Aberdeen daily the Press & Journal before relocating to Barcelona, where she now works as a tour guide, 10 years ago.

In the book, Chris attempts to reach his daughter Ruth, who is away travelling, after his wife ends up in a coma. But, as he does so, he unravels one secret after another.

Emma told the P&J: “I had Ruth’s character in my head for years before I actually wrote the book. I needed to find a story to put the character in.”

“One of the things I loved as a reporter is that you would see your work printed every day. So it can be quite torturous at times, you’re writing for years and you don’t know if you will ever be published. It is such a different mentality.”