My book

Google can be a scary thing. I just googled my book title and found it on Amazon already. I’m still writing it!

The book ‘Mr Moon Has Left the Stadium’ is a funny account of my life as the West Ham United FC announcer. It comes out on August 1st.

It has to be handed in to the publishers at the end of June. There’s nothing that quite galvanises the writer into action more than seeing that people actually expect to be able to buy it on a set date.

You can see it on Amazon here. I promise you the cover won’t look like that. It’s a quickly mocked up version by the publishers.
It’s also already on the WH Smith site and Waterstonesm. Even more scary it’s on Amazon Japan.

Jeremy Nicholas, London, UK

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The one eyed darts player

Here’s a feature I did with darts player Jamie ‘Jabba’ Caven.

As a child he was stung by a bee and lost the sight in one eye. He still went onto become world youth darts champion.

As an adult he’s overcome pancreatic cancer which has left him diabetic.

Amazingly he’s risen against all those odds to become number eighteen in the world rankings. I went to his Derby home to meet the man they call Jabba.

Jeremy Nicholas, London, UK

Our Sporting Life

Today I went to Curve in Leicester to film an exhibition of sporting history.

There’s some cracking pictures from the Leicester Mercury in the display. The above shot of me in front of a picture of Sven was taken by the Mercury’s Andy Baker, who kindly sent it to me.

The Marathon Man

Richard Whitehead is a double amputee marathon runner. He holds the world record for any kind of amputee in a marathon. He ran 2 hours 42 in Chicago last year, an amazing time considering he has both legs amputated above the knee.

The guy is phenomenal.

He’s dreaming of winning a paralympic gold in the London 2012 marathon, but there’s a problem. They won’t let him run against arm amputees in the marathon, so he has to miss out. In fact for his classification there’s only 100 and 200 metres. So at the recent world championships in New Zealand he opted for the 200 metres as that’s closer to a marathon. He was expected to come last in the final, but he surprised the opposition by storming through the field in the latter part of the race to win gold.

Check this guy out on the video, he’s amazing.

Victory eclipsed by Mr Moon

I’m never one to moan about a fellow West Ham fan, but there’s one chap who is getting on my nerves. This Mr Moon fellow has been arriving and leaving the stadium during games for as long as I can remember.

There’s nothing more annoying than people arriving midway through games is there? You’re in your seat in plenty of time to enjoy the action but have to keep getting up to let others reach their seats. Inevitably this happens just as a goal is scored. The new arrival turns to watch it, but as they are standing up, your view is completely obscured.

At yesterday’s game with Nottingham Forest the master of the late arrival, Mr Moon turned up well into the second half as I was announcing a substitution. To many in the crowd it sounded like Mr Moon came on for the last few minutes of the game.

He’s not the sort of person you’d want to throw on to help protect a one goal lead in a cup tie, because he’s unreliable. In all the years I’ve been coming to West Ham, I’ve never known him stay for a whole game. He’ll often not turn up for five or six games in a row. Mr Moon has been to a few games recently but we’ve had so many home games in January.

True to form on Sunday he sloped off just a few seconds after the final whistle. He didn’t hang about to clap the players after a hard fought FA Cup win. Fair enough he might have worried about getting home with the tube messed up again but he could have stayed a few seconds longer to applaud Obinna the winner and the rest of the victors.

I think Mr Moon is getting too big for his boots. He’s on FIFA 11 now you know. Just like in real life at Upton Park, his arrival and departure are announced over the PA. It’s a recording that is triggered when he arrives. I don’t know exactly how it works. Maybe he wears some kind of electronic tag which is read by a sensor at the turnstile. It’s my voice that announces his comings and goings, so rather embarrassingly, I appeared to be interrupting myself during the substitution.

At the end of the game, when he legged it out of the ground with indecent haste, it interrupted the traditional singing of Bubbles which heralds a home win. If I knew what he looked like, or where he sits, I’d have a word with him. That’s the trouble with Mr Moon, no-one has ever met the guy. He’s a mysterious figure who’s been haunting the Boleyn Ground for years, rather like Inspector Sands on the Underground.

I suspect Mr Moon is not even a proper West Ham fan, he’s just a glory hunter.

So if you are reading this Mr Moon by all means come along to the game on Sunday against Birmingham. Why not bring Mrs Moon, we’ve got a special Valentine’s package on offer, see the club website for details. And young Master Moon can get in for a pound as it’s Kids for a Quid. Make a day of it why don’t you? But please, for the love of God, stay for the whole match and stop getting in the way.

Jeremy Nicholas, London 31.1.11

Lovely Clean Tigers

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wash the dirty kit of a professional rugby squad?

That’s the challenge faced every day by Brenda Hargrave. She’s the laundry supervisor at Leicester Tigers.

At the age of seventy she’s become a bit of a celebrity having starred in the break bumpers for Eviva either side of the live TV coverage of Premiership rugby.

I went along to meet her at the Tigers Oval Park training ground in Oadby. She was a charming lady, who takes great pride in her team running out in bright, clean kit.

The man with his head on upside down

It’s been raining a lot lately, so it must be time for the cricket season to get underway.  In fact it’s the earliest ever start to a county championship season.

I filmed at Derbyshire this week. The county have performed a huge about turn. After years of playing with the sun in their eyes, someone had the bright idea of rotating the pitch ninety degrees.  So now at the end of the day, when the sun is setting low in the western sky, it doesn’t matter, because they’re playing north/south.

Why on earth didn’t someone think of that earlier. Well to be fair, it’s only a problem late in the day.  In the old days they would have stopped before the sun was dazzling the batsmen.  Since the innovation of day night games, which start in the afternoon and finish under floodlights, there’s been problems. 

Cameraman Neil films as they move the floodlights

I met former Derbyshire president, TV presenter Nick Owen at the ground. I was surprised. I knew he was chairman of Luton Town, but I didn’t know of the link with Derbyshire. He told me he’d been a fan all his life, and his mum used to be the scorer at Buxton cricket club.  He’s definitely not a glory hunter, Derbyshire haven’t won anything in seventeen years, and can boast only four honours in their history.

Nick told me it had been embarrassing when ‘sun stopped play’ during live games on Sky. So he was delighted the pitch had been moved round.

Not sure what Neil is doing here, but he’s keen, so I let him get on with it.

At Trent Bridge I met the man with the most distinctive beard in test cricket. Hashim Amla is a South African batsmen who’s come to play for Nottinghamshire. You’ll recognise him as the man who looks like he has his head on upside down. He sports a magnificent WG Grace beard, but with a shaven head.

Me and WG

He gave me a cracking interview for TV. His beard is part of his strong muslim faith, which also means he refuses to wear alcohol sponsorship logos on his kit. Up till now, his wishes have been observed, and it won’t be a problem at Notts who don’t have any beers splashed across their shirts. Well not till after the game anyway.

With Hashim’s beard and Ryan Sidebottom’s trademark curly locks, it looks like being a hairy season for Nottinghamshire.

Jem  – Nottingham  9th April 2010