Alastair Hignell delivers lecture at Forest about sport and national identity

Speaking to our Sixth Formers, the respected former sportsman and journalist discussed the way sport and issues of national identity are linked.

Alastair, who is fondly known as ‘Higgy’, is often regarded as one of the most talented all-around sportsman of his generation. During his early years, he played first class county cricket for Gloucestershire and capped 14 times for England at rugby.

In his mid-twenties, injury forced him to give up playing sports and he entered the world of journalism, becoming a respected reporter for the BBC and ITV.

However due to multiple sclerosis (MS) Alastair stepped down from those roles, leading him to become an inspirational speaker about sport, MS and his own experiences. In the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Forest Diploma Coordinator, Mr Burnside, said: “Most people count themselves lucky if they find one career they love and excel at. Alastair has had several: this former England rugby international and professional cricketer has also been a schoolmaster and, perhaps most notably, a sports’ journalist and BBC commentator for almost three decades.

“Alastair’s thought-provoking talk at this week’s Look Out lecture, Patriot Games: sport and national identity, considered the intersection of sport and nationalism in the professional era, taking into consideration, for example, the current national anthem debate, as well as the role of the media.”