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Alan Brazil on his sporting glories and wild stories

PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 October 2020

Alan Brazil at TalkSPORT where he presents a show. Picture: Supplied by Transworld Publishing

Alan Brazil at TalkSPORT where he presents a show. Picture: Supplied by Transworld Publishing

Archant

Known for his no holds barred broadcasting style, Suffolk presenter and former footballer Alan Brazil tells all in his new autobiography.

The term ‘no holds barred’ could have been written for Alan Brazil.

Anyone who has listened to the popular presenter of the talkSPORT Breakfast Show knows he is never one to shirk a comment or opinion.

He lives his life unashamedly the same way. His social antics are almost as famous as the bubbly character that starts the day for an estimated 1.4 million listeners.

So there was little chance that his new autobiography, Only Here For a Visit, was going to be anything but a honest, ‘no holds barred’ look back on his life.

While now one of the biggest names on the biggest sports radio station, Brazil was also a rather good footballer.

Making his name and achieving European glory at Ipswich Town, under Sir Bobby Robson, he then had spells with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur and also played in a World Cup with Scotland in 1982.

Forced to retire early from the professional game in 1986, Brazil simply took it as an opportunity to try something different as broadcasting came calling.

It’s fair to say that he has had enough experiences – and enough anecdotes – to write a collection of autobiographies.

But why was now the right time to lift the lid on the ‘sporting glories and wild stories’, to quote the front cover.

Brazil said: “My last book was more than 10 years ago so there has been plenty of water under the bridge. talkSPORT recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and they really got behind the idea.

“Obviously, lockdown has given me more time to write the book but it was always on the agenda.

“The book focuses on all aspects of my life. When I look back at all the people I met during my football days, some are no longer with us or might be struggling.

“I have always tried my hardest to enjoy every single day. Mick Lambert at Ipswich used to say to me to enjoy every single minute of football because it goes quickly. But I think that’s a lesson for life as well.”

Jovial and seemingly carefree by nature, Brazil has still had his share of hard knocks and dark days to overcome.

The book recalls the horror of being abused by a coach at Celtic Boys Club and also when he was forced to retire at 27 years old due to a persistent and ongoing back injury.

Recalling the moment when his football career was over, he admitted it was actually a relief.

He said: “I had lost my sparkle on the pitch and I knew something wasn’t quite right.

“I used to wash my face or brush my teeth and I couldn’t even hold myself up. I was really struggling so it was a relief when I was told what the problem was.”

For many footballers, the news would have seemed like the end of the world.

But Brazil was more than happy with a football career that included a UEFA Cup winners medal and 12 caps for Scotland.

It didn’t take him long to start thinking about life after football and he quickly became a popular and authoritative voice in regional and national broadcasting before joining talkSPORT.

For more than 20 years, years, Brazil has entertained the nation as the radio station grew and grew.

Occasionally getting a few things wrong – search up ‘Alan Brazil Bob Monkhouse’ for instance – and occasionally getting himself in trouble with those social antics, Brazil’s personality of the people has largely got him through any scrapes.

“I think people can relate to me,” he said. “I love my work and I love talking about sport while never taking things too seriously.

“A lot of people are listening as they get ready or go to work and they want some entertainment as well as honest sports chat.”

Brazil recently went from the full-time breakfast show slot to sharing the coveted role with Laura Woods.

But don’t mention anything about ‘retirement’ with the decision seemingly giving him a new lease of life for the show.

He explained: “I live on the border of Suffolk and Essex so I was leaving at 4am to do the show. I couldn’t keep doing five days at that time of the morning.

“It was a bit of a shock to start doing just two days but Thursday and Friday mornings is perfect for me.

“We can reflect on the action from Wednesday night and then start the build-up towards the weekend. I now can’t wait for Thursday to come along.”

Brazil’s ‘loving life’ mantra is reflected just as much in his antics away from the radio station. So to be forced to stay at home for months during the national lockdown must have hit someone who appears to be the very definition of a social butterfly?

Reflecting on this unforgettable, uncertain year, Brazil said: “Lockdown has been fine - I have spent most of my time at home in the garden and with my cockapoo Hugo.

“I am fortunate that we live in a beautiful part of the world with the likes of Felixstowe and Aldeburgh so close.”

Alan has always given so much to charity over many years, recently hosting his fabulous annual Alan Brazil Golf Day raising thousands for GeeWizz and the Sebastian Action Trust, it’s something very important to him, always has been.

In support of the Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk Legacy Auction which runs until Sunday November 8, Lot 79 is the chance to meet Alan and Ray Parlour, watching them present their talkSPORT breakfast show and enjoy a tour behind-the-scenes of the national radio station on Tower Bridge.

His second prize, kindly donated by Elle and Tyne Events, Lot 104, invites the winner and four guests to join him, Ray Parlour and friends in London at the Moretown Belle, London on Thursday January 28 2021 where they will enjoy a Piaff Champagne Reception and a three-course meal with half a bottle of wine per person. Entertainment will be provided by Alan and Ray Parlour and their special guests, with great live music performance. The one thing Alan knows a thing or two about is throwing very good memorable parties!

To find out more about the auction, the donations and to bid, visit www.edsheeranmadeinsuffolklegacyauction.com

Alan’s book, Only Here For a Visit, is available from this weekend.


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