About Ian Ridley

About Ian Ridley


After attending Hardye's School in Dorchester, Dorset, Ian Ridley graduated from Bedford College, University of London, with a BA degree in French. While there, he was Sports Editor of the college magazine Inner Circular and contributed to the University newspaper, Senate.

It gave him the taste for sports writing and after learning some basics of journalism on Building magazine, he took a job as Sports Editor of the Worksop Guardian in Nottinghamshire, covering the local football club in the Northern Premier League and editing three broadsheet pages a week.

After two years there, he moved south to join the sports desk of the Evening Post-Echo in Hemel Hempstead, which covered Luton and Watford. His big break came in 1980 when he landed a job as a sports sub-editor on The Guardian at their old Farringdon Road offices, also covering football on Saturdays and some cricket in the summer.

Ian rose to become Deputy Sports Editor there before going out on the road to cover football, including the 1988 European Championships in Germany and the World Cup in Italy 1990.

After a decade at The Guardian, next port of call was the Daily Telegraph as a sports feature writer, which included assignments to The Masters at Augusta, Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and a world heavyweight title fight in Madison Square Garden, New York.

Football remained Ian's first love, however, and he became the Chief Football Writer of the Independent on Sunday, taking in the 1994 and 1998 World Cup finals as well as Euro '96, before a move to The Observer as Football Columnist, covering the European Championships of 2000 and 2004.

After seven years there, he was recruited by the Mail on Sunday to be Chief Football Writer and it was there, after one previous nomination while on The Observer, Ian was awarded Sports Journalist of the Year in the British Press awards of 2007. Another nomination followed in 2010 while he was Football Columnist for the paper before a short spell in a similar role on the Daily Express.

Throughout his career in newspapers, Ian has written football books alongside his journalistic work, beginning with his journey through English football, Season in the Cold, in 1992. Twenty years on, he revisited many of those places for his appraisal of two decades of the Premier League, There's A Golden Sky, which was shortlisted for Football Book of the Year in the British Sports Book Awards.

In between came biographies on Eric Cantona and Kevin Keegan, along with being the writer on the auto-biographies of Steve Claridge and Tony Adams, whose searingly honest and ground-breaking Addicted, detailing the alcoholism of the former Arsenal and England captain, became a best seller translated into several languages and was shortlisted for the William Hills Sports Book of the Year.

Ian also wrote an account of his own involvement in football, as chairman of his home-town club, Weymouth. Floodlit Dreams, with its ironic sub-title of How to Save a Football Club, was accompaniment to a TV series entitled Football Diaries that detailed a year at the club.

Also for television, Ian has acted as consultant on documentaries on Paul Gascoigne and Tony Adams and written drama as well. He scripted more than 20 episodes in the long-running Sky One series Dream Team, which captured the ups and downs of life at a fictional Premier League club, Harchester United.

Ian, who has also written for magazines including GQ, Sports Illustrated and Observer Sports Monthly, continues to work as a freelance journalist and author, contributing football match reports to the  Daily Telegraph and working on a new sports book.

He also contributes to television and radio and has been a regular on BT's Life a Pitch as well as frequent guest on BBC Radio 5 Live and talkSPORT.

He remains at heart a writer, however, and is currently working on another sports book, a radio drama, a film script and a novel.

Ian is married to Vikki Orvice, the Athletics Correspondent of The Sun, who also covers football and tennis, and has two children. Son Jack is a song writer and musician while daughter Alex is Assistant Picture Editor for the Seven magazine group and a photographer who has taken pictures for this site and Ian's books as well as the Mail on Sunday and Matchroom Boxing.