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The voice of sports

We speak to the BBC radio Leicester ‘voice of sport’ John Sinclair about his career and his greatest passions in Life.

Known to his listeners as the voice of sport, John Sinclair has worked at BBC Radio Leicester since 1990. His broadcasting career has allowed him to stay involved with his two greatest passions in life, music and sport.

John started his career in radio by working at Loughborough  University. In the late 1980s he won a Radio 1 award for his commentary on an American Football game. From there he was contacted by BBC Radio Nottingham who gave him a position as a cricket commentator.

An avid sports fan, John sees Leicester as the ideal place to be a broadcaster. Besides football he enjoys a variety of sports including basketball, athletics and boxing.

He said: “We used to refer to Leicester as the sporting capital of the UK because we have three or four big teams. There’s always something going on in the sports scene even in the off seasons there’s new signings etc. It’s never quiet”.

John has commentated on Leicester City football games for the last 11 seasons and counts the Martin O’Neil era as a golden period for the club.

He added: “We were in the Premiership for five seasons.  It’s a time we all look back on with fondness and we’re still trying to get back there. Another highlight was the 1994 playoff final where Leicester beat Derby County.”

The London Olympics will be taking up much of John’s time with a new half hour show called Olympic Thursday. As well as reviewing the games, the programme  will also track the progress of several Paralympians.

As well as sport coverage John has presented several music shows throughout his career. A highlight came in 1990 when John conducted a phone interview on-air with Kurt Cobain. Although Cobain and Nirvana would soon become iconic figures at the time the band were relevantly unknown.

“Back then it was just another interview. I became aware of the band when I  got hold of one of their singles, Sliver, on cassette. I liked it a lot and thought I’d to speak to their lead singer. When I  look back I  think ‘wow they really became massive’,” says John.

Although the music side of things has taken a back seat in the last few years, John is now back with a new Sunday afternoon show.

The programme gives local musicians much needed exposure and features a diverse range of music.

John said: “I play all sorts on the show. Last week I  played ska, blues and dance tunes. My only criteria is, if  I think a record is good then I’ll play  it. I  also try to play music that people wouldn’t usually hear during our weekday shows.”

Summing up his career, John said: “The variation is the best part of my job. Especially now that I’m back doing a music show again. Music and sport are my two loves so it’s not like coming to work, instead it’s more like I’m turning what I  love doing into radio.”

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