Sunday Times football reporter Jonathan Northcroft inspires DMU Sports Journalism students with brilliant talk

by Azim Saiyed. DMU Sports Journalism student

DMU sports journalism students were given an inspiring talk by Jonathan Northcroft, Sunday Times Chief Football writer, about his career, how he got into journalism – and tips to make it as a sports reporter.

Jonathan, an award-winning sports reporter and acclaimed author, spoke to the third year Sports Journalism students as part of their final year option module.

During his talk, Jonathan offered helpful advice and said: “Look for what you know that other people don’t know. Find something to specialise in – research it, do it well – and put it together.

“There are many people covering the Premier League – but what can you do that’s different that isn’t being covered?”

He entertained the students with stories of players he had interviewed, big games he had covered – and not always getting it right.

On the ball: Jonathan Northcroft, centre, with the DMU Sports Journalism students.

Journalism, he said, was not a complicated discipline – but you had to practise and find your voice. The key was making games interesting and accessible.

“Imagine you’re going straight from the game and you’re meeting your mate at the bar,” he said. “What you tell him is, more or less, what your report should be. It’s no more complicated than that.”

He spoke for more than two hours and gave students expert advice on how to write a live match report and opinion column, which they have to do as part of their assessment.

Jayden Whitworth, third year sports journalism student, said it was a fascinating talk.

“I think it can sometimes be difficult to see a pathway in journalism, so to hear how he managed to get into the industry and work his way up into the position he is in now was interesting,” he said.

“For me, he has the dream job so hearing the stories of matches he has reported on was very inspiring.”

Lee Marlow, senior journalism lecturer at DMU, takes the Sports Journalism module.

“Jonathan has been a brilliant help to DMU students over the years. He lives locally, and he’s always been genuinely supportive of the students and the course.

“It’s great for the students to hear from professional sports reporters at the top of their game – and they don’t come much better than Jonathan Northcroft.”

Jonathan regularly attends live Premier League matches and sends his incisive reports on the final whistle. He also writes features, columns and ghost writes columns for  The Sunday Times.

He is also the author of ‘Fearless’, the story of Leicester City’s fairy-tale 2016 Premier League triumph.

Earlier this year, the Sports Journalism students enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the King Power stadium, the home of Leicester City Football Club, and Welford Road, the home of the Tigers.

Press Box: Leicester City’s director of communications, Anthony Herlihy, addresses the DMU Sports Journalism students during a tour of the KP.

“It’s good to mix essential journalism lessons with visits and tours,” said lecturer Lee Marlow. “It makes the Sports Journalism lessons interesting and memorable.”

VIDEO: Leicester hosts spectacular Chinese New Year celebrations and parade

By Azim Saiyed

The Chinese New Year began with crowds flocking the streets of Leicester to parade from De Montfort University to Green Dragon Square which was all organised by Cosmopolitan Arts.

Yingjun Yang, director of the DMU Confucius Institute, said: “DMU Confucius Institute is happy and proud to be able to hold events for the Chinese New Year every year with the support from colleagues, friends, partners, and communities both at DMU and in Leicester.

“The Chinese take this occasion as a good time for forgiveness, compromises, and mutual understanding. They choose to forget old grudges and grievances for a better year of mutual harmony and peace among themselves, with others and for all fellow beings.”

This year, Cosmopolitan Arts planned to set up events in Leicester, Derby and Nottingham. It also carried out thorough research into the Chinese migration to the East Midlands.

Hundreds of people enjoyed the traditional dances and the red dragon costume dance at the front of the parade.

The event, held on Sunday, January 22, was capped off by spectacular dazzling fireworks at the Green Dragon Square, which is next to the Leicester market.

For more information, visit:

MORE RELATED STORIES: Chinese New Year celebration events planned in Leicester

Wigston residents furious with derelict pub planning application 

By Azim Saiyed

A plan to turn a disused pub in Wigston into a community hub and a place of worship has angered some residents who are objecting strongly to it over traffic concerns. 

ABANDONED: The former Nautical William pub is ready for renovation and a new take-over.

A planning application was lodged by the new owners last year for the run-down former Nautical William pub, which caused a strong disagreement in the community. 

Wigston resident Beckie Ligo, 49, said: “The traffic is going to get absolutely stupid down there. 

“We live at the bottom of the road, and it’s really bad, it’s hard enough to get in and out.” 

From the planning application proposals posted to nearby houses, the residents found out the place of worship could potentially be a mosque. 

Beckie said: “To be fair, there are far and few Muslims in this area, it would be much better if it was housing. 

“We were originally promised for housing and flats to be built by the council, but they are absolutely rubbish.” 

A representative from the community hub, who did not want to be named, said: “Let’s get the facts right, it’s not going to be a mosque, this is just misinformation that’s been going around. 

“The community hub will be open to all residents regardless of their age, religion, race, or background.” 

He said residents nearby will be able to visit, have a tea or coffee, socialise, and take part in community activities. 

“In regard to the traffic,” he added, “I can clarify that currently, there are a lot of Muslim residents who are having to drive to the nearest mosque in Oadby, and having a prayer facility nearby will allow to clear up traffic, as they can walk.” 

The representative mentioned that the community hub will provide hot meals, foodbanks and generally a relaxing place for the wider community and in that way the organisers hope to show people what true Islam is. 

Beckie said: “I’m an atheist, I don’t care about what they use it for, but I have appealed against it. 

“Do we really need all this upset?” 

The Nautical William originally started as a brewery pub in the 1950s on a piece of land bought by William Cox. 

For decades it was a regular for the locals, but those days seem to have come to an end. 

For more information about Wigston, visit: 

VIDEO: Local litter picking group calls for people to act against littering

By Azim Saiyed

Leicestershire Litter Wombles, a group made up of more than 500 active volunteers, has demanded people take the initiative to help tackle the nation’s litter crisis, after a recent Parliamentary visit to raise their concerns.

Founder Bob Lee, 55, said: “There have been areas neglected for years but we are making progress by encouraging businesses to try and clean as well as use recycled products.”

Litter Wombles Bob (Left) and Scott (Right) give their thoughts on the litter problems.

For more information on group pickings or more details, visit: