THE first time I met Richard Moore was when he was assigned (or should I say forced?) to ghostwrite my athletes’ diary for one of the Scottish tabloids at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

It was, I’m pretty sure, the first time he had written about badminton; it was, I’m certain, the last.

For that first instalment of my supposedly insightful diary from inside the Athletes’ Village, he was forced to fashion 750 words out of nothing because I’d spent the entirety of our first meeting telling him how brilliant a journalist I thought he was and not a single thing about my Commonwealth Games experience.

In the years following that first meeting, we became friends and I came to learn he was just as good a guy as every person who had the pleasure of meeting him said.

So like many others, I was, and still am, in shock about his sudden death last week at the age of 49.

The thousands of tributes to Richard that have appeared online and in print are a testament to how well liked and well respected he was .

From Chris Hoy to Chris Froome and so many others within the cycling world, from every sports journalist I can think of, to so many members of the public who loved Richard’s writing and broadcasting, the testimonies have been effusive.

His first career was as a cyclist, reaching international level,  representing Scotland at the 1998 Commonwealth Games alongside Hoy.

But it was on his retirement he really made his name. Initially as a writer and author, then as a podcaster, Richard became known as one of the best in the business.

He wrote regularly for numerous newspapers, The Herald and Sunday Herald included, and even for non-diehards of cycling, his pieces were always a joy to read.

His books were even better than his journalism. His first, “In Search of Robert Millar”, about Scotland’s best Tour de France cyclist and his mysterious life following his retirement from cycling won Best Biography at the 2008 British Sports Book Awards, while his second, “Heroes, Villains & Velodromes” about Britain’s track cycling revolution, was long-listed for the 2008 William Hill Sports Book of the Year.

It was, though, his book about the 1988 men’s Olympic 100m final that was my favourite. It  was also long-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year and told the story, in meticulous detail, of that famous final in Seoul won by Ben Johnson in a world-record time before the race was found to have been chock-full of dopers.

Richard also wrote about the Jamaican sprinting set-up and its ability to produce so many of the world’s best sprinters, including, of course, the best of all time, Usain Bolt in “The Bolt Supremacy”.

He was able to do what so few are capable of; to write interesting, well-informed and, most-importantly, readable pieces and books about more than one sport.

He was not satisfied with being solely a writer, though, branching into podcasting almost 10 years ago.

I remember asking him in the early days if he thought he could make a living from podcasting and he replied “maybe”.

Well, he turned his podcast, entitled “The Cycling Podcast”, into one of the most popular sports podcasts in the world.

Championing women’s cycling before it was fashionable to do so, he also launched a spin-off show, “The Cycling Podcast Feminin”, to discuss the topics of the month.

These podcasts are why so many people who had never met him feel like they have lost a friend.

Despite becoming such a well-known face, and voice, in the sports world, he remained one of the good guys.

When I told him I’d like to get into journalism, he was so incredibly encouraging – far more encouraging than I probably deserved – which is a story told by countless journalists who wanted to try to break into the industry.

Without fail, he went out of his way to help everyone and anyone who wanted to follow in his footsteps.

In the days since his death, so many now professional journalists have spoken of how approachable Richard was in a profession that can be unwelcoming to newcomers.

The real loss will, of course, be most keenly felt by his wife, young son, family and close friends.

But the fact so many thousands of others also feel like they have suffered a devastating loss says much about Richard.


The narrative around women’s football has always been, and continues to be for many, that it never has been, and never will be, as popular as the men’s game.

Well, one look at the attendance figure for Barcelona’s 5-2 thrashing of their bitter rivals, Real Madrid, to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League a few days ago debunks that with 91,552 people crammed into the Nou Camp on a night that Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas described as “magical”.

This, unsurprisingly, was an  attendance record at a women’s football game, surpassing the previous best for a club game of 60,739 and also beating the 23-year record of 90,195 from the 1999 World Cup in the United States.

So spare me the claim that women’s football can never be popular. Yes, there remains quite a way to go for most clubs to get anywhere near men’s crowd sizes, but Barcelona has shown what is possible.