The podcast revolution is well and truly in full swing. Whether we’re plugging in our EarPods to be grizzled by tales of serial killers, slipping on our noise-cancelling headphones to hear the latest film reviews or spending our Sunday runs at a virtual book club, not a day goes by when we’re not privy to the inner thoughts and musings of our favourite podcast hosts.
But the arts are claiming victory when it comes to this new digital platform. From Desert Island Discs to podcasts peddling languages and recipes, there seems to a definite dearth of titles for sports enthusiasts. Thankfully, we’ve sifted through the top charts and found six of the best sports podcasts to tide you over until the next big game, match or race.
For any Formula 1 aficionados: Beyond The Grid
The official podcast of F1, each week host Tom Clarkson brings in-depth, personal conversations with some of the biggest names in the sport — from current superstar drivers to leading team bosses and legendary figures from the sport’s past.
Some of the best episodes feature Eddie Jordan, Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton. But, if you’re looking to start somewhere, seek out the 1000th Race Special, featuring the omniscient Murray Walker. And, if Beyond The Grid leaves you wanting more, the team also recently launched a Formula 2 podcast, titled The Road To F1.
For the football set: Sunday Supplement
Asking big questions every week, Sky Sport’s official football podcast has posed recent head-scratchers including: ‘Are England ready to win the Euros?’, ‘Are Tottenham stressed out?’ and ‘Can Liverpool keep pace?’ With weekly instalments released every — you guessed it — Sunday, Sunday Supplement tends to be hosted by The Sun’s chief football reporter, Neil Ashton.
So, if you’re wanting to dive behind the headlines and cover the action, controversies, signings, hirings and firings — this is the football podcast for you. Alternatively, if you’re looking for more personality-driven pods from former players, both Peter Crouch and Robbie Savage each have their own amusing spin on the format.
For those obsessed with the World Cup: House of Rugby
With all eyes on the Rugby World Cup in Japan, searches for rugby podcasts have shot up faster and higher than a well-placed drop kick. But our pick, starring hosts James Haskell and Alex Payne, is House of Rugby. Every Wednesday, you’ll get a new episode — with recent instalments including a look at the first round of games with Mike Tindall, Ireland’s defeat to Japan and an interview with European Player of the Year 2019, Alex Goode.
You might have to stick with it after the World Cup when the drama dries up, but the lad humour is often tempered with serious discussions on mental health issues in the sport, retirement from the game through injury and how players overcome persecution.
For the boxing pundits: Pound for Pound
If you’re obsessed with all things boxing, you’ve got nothing on Jake Wood. The British actor has rallied his best friend, ex-European Super Bantamweight Champion Spencer Oliver for Pound for Pound — one of the best boxing podcasts out there.
Every week, the duo are joined by top names from the sport, as well as other celebrity boxing fans. They analyse the big fights and discuss the latest news from the boxing world with guests such as George Groves, Ricky Hatton, Carl Froch and recurring guest Tony Bellew. Less predictable guests include Ray Winstone and Piers Morgan.
For the cricket enthusiast: Test Match Special
Running from May to September, there may not be an episode of Test Match Special to listen to every week, but what better team to rely on for your cricketing fix than the group behind the BBC’s flagship coverage? Including interviews with top players and special features with pundits from Phil Tufnell to Michael Vaughan, you can expect bumper summers of podcasting goodness from Test Match Special.
And, after a game-changing summer of sport this summer, there’s a wealth of episodes to revisit from 2019; from Sir Curtly Ambrose’s explanation of the art of fast bowling to retrospectives on the World Cups of 1975 and 1979.
For all-round sportsmen: Athletes Unfiltered
Put together by Strava — that little app you daren’t look at on your phone after a run — this show takes a deep dive into what it means to be an athlete. It’s a little different to the other shows on this list, but no less interesting. Where else could you hear from someone who makes it their aim to run every single street in a whole city?
Guests have ranged from pro-cyclist Laurens ten Dam, who speaks about his struggles in the pro peloton and the time when his career almost ended, to Mirna Valerio, author of the blog Fat Girl Running, who is trying to change people’s perceptions about what it means to be fit.
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