THE BEAUTIFUL GAMES – Scotland’s Hidden Sports
by Henry Hepburn

In this newly published book, the author declares that there is an unhealthy culture is Scottish sport as it is dominated by football, specifically football played by men. This leaves other sports, and all women’s sport, unfairly ignored by the media and starved of funding and new players. Those who know me will be aware that I am entirely sympathetic with the Mr Hepburn’s point of view.
THE BEAUTIFUL GAMES - Scotland’s Hidden Sports
Football supporters dismiss other sports as irrelevant. Youngsters are encouraged into football ‘because you can earn a lot of money without a huge amount of talent’. Even sports journalists, with a few exceptions, have little knowledge of or interest in other sports, and so the football stranglehold continues.

Henry Hepburn is a journalist, and each chapter is a feature on an individual sport, describing its history, where it is now, and telling the stories of some of its heroes. The sports covered vary from the well known – rugby, cricket, tennis – to the less supported shinty, handball, American football, table tennis, netball – to the much more obscure roller derby and korfball. Women’s football gets a chapter as it’s considered to be a separate sport to the men’s game, with its own battle for recognition.

As I take an interest in a variety of sports I already knew some of the info the book provides. I know a bit about American football and EK Pirates quarterback Ryan Hunter. I knew who Ronald Ross is. I knew that table tennis is big in Drumchapel. As some of my cousins played, I even knew that Cumbernauld is a hotbed of handball, though I didn’t know why until now. Beyond that, there was an awful lot I didn’t know and I’m now much better informed.

The Beautiful Games is an interesting read, I recommend it to anyone interested in Scottish sport. It’s just a pity that not many of those one tract mind football followers will  give it a look.

THE BEAUTIFUL GAMES – Scotland’s Hidden Sports is available from Lulu Enterprises as a paperback or an e-book. Click here

It’s now also available from Amazon

1 Comment

  1. Hi Duncan. Thanks for the review – much appreciated! How did you find out about the book?
    The book should also be available through Amazon soon, although I’m not sure how long they take to process things.

    I may put out a revised edition in a few months – I plan, for example, to do a Q&A with handball’s Lynn McCafferty on her Olympics experience. I’ll post updates at and

    Thanks again for the review – I’m delighted you enjoyed it. Makes it all worthwhile!

    All the best,

  2. Pingback: The Beautiful Games – the book launch event | Duncolm Sports Photography