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Sporting Link Returns

November 2, 2012

90's Flashback


A big WELCOME BACK to former Variety Today `Sporting Link’ Columnist GRAHAM WILSON (ex the multi-award winning The Four Kinsmen) who’s uncanny knack for remembering dates, names and even scores of sporting fixtures around the world, made him a valuable asset to the Variety Today team and, now, we are delighted to have him on board for On With the Show Entertainment. We hope you will enjoy his regular contributions which, although based on the sporting arena, are written from an entertainer’s perspective and will, undoubtedly, be full of surprises and a host of interesting anecdotes, as only Graham Wilson can present.


By Graham Wilson

TO receive a call recently from Shirley Broun, The Editor of Variety Today, asking me to revive my sports column, Sporting Link, which I used to write for the magazine was totally unexpected.

Graham Wilson

IN 1997 I featured an article in VARIETY TODAY on the former England Cricket Captain, MIKE GATTING. It had one classic comment from Mike when I asked him where I could send him a copy of the interview in the magazine. Without hesitation he said just send it to Mike Gatting, Lords. Did he receive it? I don’t know.

Which reminds me of the first time I went to Las Vegas in 1982. At Caesars Palace there is a very large white light billboard approximately 10 metres by 8 metres. On the sign they advertise who is appearing in the Showroom. The sign had two words on “He’s Back”. Those two words were all that was needed to fill the room every night. Who could it be? Give up? It was Frank Sinatra … That’s how big Frank Sinatra was in Vegas. That they don’t ever put your name on the billboard … just “He’s Back”. I never looked at Mike Gatting to be as well known as Frank, but what would I know!

1997 was the year TIGER WOODS won his first Major Golf Title, the US Golf Masters, at the famous Augusta course.

I remember telling a mate of mine, Alex (who loved a bet), to have a bet on him to win. He said I’ve never heard of him. I explained that I’d been watching him in 1995 and 1996 while touring the USA with our group (The Four Kinsmen), and that he was the US Amateur Champion. His price was $16 to win. I told him he will never be that price again … history could change that now 15 years later. Anyway, Tiger won & my mate won over $1000. If only I’d put every thing I had on him.

Two years later you couldn’t even bet on him to win as his price was virtually nothing. He was such a red hot favourite to win. You could only bet on who would be runner up.

Now 15 years later how things have changed. We all know about his escapades which has no doubt affected his performances. For a while he did have an exceptional lifestyle. Winning on the course and off it!

Enough of this. I’m starting to sound as if I’m jealous …

Time Out…Graham Wilson

NB: Graham’s column SPORTING LINK will be a regular feature in our MEMBERS SITE.

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