Tony is a writer and author. He specialises in the intersection between sport and politics and is a former Football Editor of The Times.
We asked Tony Evans a series of fun questions to get to know him a little better—here’s what he had to say:
🍽 What person living or dead would you invite to your dream dinner party?
I’d have to go for my auntie Annie. She was born into the worst sort of urban poverty in the 1920s and never lived outside one of the poorest areas in the country. Although she lived into her 90s, I never asked enough about what she remembered—the family, the neighbors and how they survived during the war when docklands Liverpool was bombed relentlessly.
Milk the memories from the older family members while you can. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.
🇪🇸 Where is the best destination you’ve been?
Granada. It’s impossibly romantic—go with someone you’re in love with—amazingly historic with the combination of Moorish and Spanish cultures creates a unique experience. Plus the shadow of the civil war still hangs over the city. I like it so much I wrote about it for New Thinking.
Coming soon! New Orleans pre-Katrina was wonderful, too, a bit less so now. I also spent some time in New York in the early 1980s when it was much more rugged—I loved those mean streets.
🧞♂️ If you had one wish to improve the world, what would you change?
The acquisition of wealth when it becomes meaningless and an individual can buy whatever they want. I’ve no problem with people becoming rich, but the hoarding of wealth is obscene for its own sake.
🎸 I played in pop bands during the 1980s but was a dreadful musician. I looked good, though! I was never going to make it. I knew I’d be some sort of writer from early on and just went with the flow.
At 29 I was working on building sites in Los Angeles. That focused me a little. I asked myself, what are you going to do at 50? So I thought I’d be a journalist. No training, no contacts. I got lucky. It turned out alright.
📚 Which books do you recommend to others?
Lots of them. I’m a huge fan of Evelyn Waugh, one of the greatest writers of English prose in the 20th century. I’d particularly recommend the “Sword of Honour” trilogy. It follows an upper-class officer throughout the Second World War and starts off with excitement and hilarity and charts the journey of disillusion, loss and despair. A brilliant work.
I also love people like Anthony Burgess. His “Earthly Powers” is pot-boiling blockbuster meets literature.
Flann O’Brien is great if you like surreal Irish hilarity.