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    You are here : Home » Get Involved » MSRC Interactive » Have Your Say » Book Reviews » Books (MS Related) » Alastair Hignell - Matches, Microphones and MS - R

    Alastair Hignell - Matches, Microphones and MS - Reviews

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    Reviewed By Sam Harper
    Matches, Microphones and MS Cover

    After being at the charity for 14 months I was awarded with two honours: first I got to choose the front cover of the July/August issue of New Pathways, second I got to be the first to read – and review - the eagerly awaited autobiography of our patron Alastair Hignell, ingeniously entitled Higgy: Matches, Microphones and MS.

    What did I expect from the book? Well, to be honest I wasn’t sure. For any other sportsman I would expect sporting glory after sporting glory with MS being mentioned in hushed tones at the back of the book as a sideline. But knowing Alastair I knew to expect something special.

    What I found was a very open, very honest and very genuine tale of Alastairs life – the good bits, the bad bits and all that was inbetween. The sporting triumphs and disasters. The broadcasting successes and catastrophes. The good, the bad and the ugly of living with MS. It is all written with such warmth and humour, you feel you are there.

    Alastair was a great sportsman – first man to captain both the rugby and cricket teams at Cambridge University before going on to play both sports at the top level. Can you imagine a sports man today playing for England in two sports and studying at the same time? Alastair gives us the insider view of how the games have changed over the years – a very interesting history of the sports, a must read for any sport fans.

    As a commentator he saw all the rugby action from the best seat in the house – even if the best seat was hard to get to when you have mobility problems! The behind the scenes look at what happens on match day is both eye opening and amusing and you will never listen to commentary again without picturing the stories in the book.

    MS is a theme the book keeps going back to and is an account that I am sure many people faced with MS can relate to. From the despair felt when first diagnosed to gradual acceptance it is a compelling read full of emotion. This is the human story behind the disease.

    To sum it up in one word - inspirational. Every year scores of people join Higgy’s Heroes – the name coined back in 2008 for a group of old friends of Alastairs who decided to run the London Marathon in his name. Each year more and more amazing events are done in Alastairs name – all you need to do is read the book to see why!

    This book tells the tale of the original hero – Alastair himself and his heroine, Jeannie. Behind every great man is a great woman and the Hignells are no exception. Another person that features prominently in the book is Alastairs colleague and mentor, Ian Robertson. Clearly without ‘Robbo’ this would be a very different book and without his kindness Higgy’s fight with MS would be much harder.

    ‘I’ve been given a golden opportunity to find out what really matters in life – the people, the relationships, the places and the things. I have a wristband from the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre, who patron I am. It simply says, ‘Life is for Living’, and I couldn’t agree more.’ This quote sums up the attitude of the book and shows why Alastair is the perfect person to be the MSRC patron.

    Sam Harper

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