Disturbing news from The Times Sport's 'Insider', Ashling O' Connor, who reports today that Charing Cross Road bookseller Sportspages has gone into administration .
The shop, founded by Kiwi John Gaustad in 1985, is a mecca for all sports fans that contains more than 10,000 titles on all sports bright and beautiful and all games great and small. Its loss would be a great trauma, especially to those Londoners who knew exactly where to go when they needed to buy a copy of David Batty's autobiography, signed by the great man himself, as a birthday present for their Dad. The place is an institution and one of those book shops where the staff never make you feel guilty for loafing around their premises for an inordinate length of time, as you casually leaf through whichever tome has taken your fancy. The tv in the corner is always switched on to any sporting event that is currently generating headlines and there's a montage of photos on one of the walls, displaying all the sporting demi-gods that have visited the shop. It is a shop that makes you feel welcome, where you can indulge your hopeless obession in peace.
For those football fans who have settled in the city from other parts of the country, Sportspages is also the only place in town where you can purchase club fanzines. So no matter if you support Gillingham or Manchester United, you can pop down Charing Cross road and pick up a copy of 'Brian Moore's Head' or 'The Red Issue'. This is a vital service and if we are to lose it, well, we might as well just close this city down.
Apparently the administrators are looking for a suitable buyer, so sports fans across the city should keep all fingers and toes crossed.