As this is my first post for my website (is this a website or a blog?!) I should really try and introduce myself just in case anyone is reading other than mum. My name is James Montague and I am a British journalist, author and photographer from Chelmsford, Essex.
I write mainly about sport, but it doesn’t tend to be about sport. It veers in to politics, culture, religion and beyond. For the past three years I’ve been writing for the The New York Times. In that time I’ve reported from 26 countries and managed to collect zero air miles. I’m pretty badly organised.
When I’m not writing for them, I also contribute to CNN.com, The Blizzard and GQ, as well as writing a monthly column for World Soccer. You might have also heard me on the BBC World Service’s World Football show. Wherever I go, I take my radio mic with me.
I’m also an associate editor for Delayed Gratification, the world’s first slow journalism publication. We are a small group of friends who met in Dubai working for Time Out. We vowed, one day, to make the best possible print magazine we could. And this is it. I write mainly non-sports longform features for DG. My favourite so far was a story about a Welsh terrorist movement in the 1960s.
I’ve also written two books. For When Friday Comes: Football, War and Revolution in the Middle East (deCoubertin) I travelled to every country in the region — before, during and after the Arab Spring — examining where football, politics and religion intersect. It was an incredible experience and proved to me that sport in general, and football in particular, should be given a place alongside other cultural entities as forums for dissent and revolution.
Thirty One Nil: On the Road With Football’s Outsiders, a World Cup Odyssey (Bloomsbury) was released in the UK in May 2014, and in the US a month later. The book follows my travels to six continents charting the qualification campaign for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, through the eyes of the minnows and underdogs unlikely to make it there.
I’ll be honest, I’m still trying to come to terms with how to deal with not writing the book. Its publication has left a rather large hole in my life. So, rather than drink myself to death, ruing past glories, I decided to start this website. Or blog. Or whatever it is.
The next ten or so entries I’ll put as much as I can find online.