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Home: All Other Football Interests: Obituaries and Remembrances:
Edward Grayson

 



R.S.Cavendish
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Sep 25, 2008, 11:02 AM

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Edward Grayson Can't Post or Reply Privately

Edward Grayson, who died on Tuesday aged 83, was a barrister with a deep interest in sports law, particularly that related to football. I knew him well and in later times we argued a lot (in a legal way) about his decision (wrong in my opinion) to allow Corinthian Casuals to sell their soul and the Sheriff of London Shield.
Edward had an obsession with G.O.Smith and his ground breaking book, 'Corinthians and Cricketers' bought to light the halcyon days of sporting yore.
There will no doubt be plenty of obituaries in the national newspapers which I shall note on this thread.
However, I shall miss now not being able to pick up the phone and spend an hour or more arguing points of legal sporting law with him. My wife, however, will not miss his late night calls from chambers where he used to work past midnight.


John Treleven
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Oct 2, 2008, 6:44 PM

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Re: [R.S.Cavendish] Edward Grayson [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Edward Grayson (Daily Telegraph 1st October 2008)
Barrister who was instumental in developing much of the framework for the law which governs sport
Last Updated: 9:25PM BST 30 Sep 2008 Grayson: could be found in his stockinged feet at the obits desk Photo: JULIAN EDELSTEIN
Edward Grayson, who died on September 23 aged 83, was a sports mad barrister responsible for developing a legal framework for sport in an increasingly violent society.
When he began to specialise in the late 1950s his main concerns were with the different tax rules for cricketers' and footballers' benefits, restraint of trade and the charitable status of clubs. But he recognised that an injury the great Pele received in the 1966 World Cup could have invited prosecution outside the arena, and saw that a £4,500 award for a broken leg was going to lead to much more expensive compensation.
In 1973 he became the founder president of the British Society for Sport and the Law, and five years later published a 76-page Sunday Telegraph pamphlet, written with the sports editor Trevor Bond, which proposed remedies for mishaps in all contact sports in a society that was growing steadily more brutal.
Such publicity was unwelcome to many sports administrators, who considered themselves quite capable of dealing with any problems. Ted Croker, chief executive of the Football Association, even suggested that the fault for present troubles lay with Grayson for inventing the concept of "Sport and the Law".
In court Grayson extended the legal boundaries in a wide variety of sports. Currie v Barton and Rippon (1987) dealt with a breach of natural justice in a tennis match; Rayner v Center Parcs (1994) concerned a swimming pool injury; O'Neil v Fashanu and Wimbledon FC and Elliott v Saunders and Liverpool FC were two important injury cases involving professional footballers. Casson v Ministry of Defence (1999) highlighted the Army's responsibility at matches; and Stream v Cameron and Bentley (2000) involved an allegation of negligence in judo coaching.
He also published three greatly expanded editions of Sport and the Law as well as such related volumes as Ethics, Injuries and the Law in Sports Medicine and Sponsorship of Sport, Arts and Leisure. Yet Grayson declined to restrict himself to a narrow specialism, with the possibility of increased earnings, preferring to continue writing and pursuing his many other interests.
The son of a businessman, Edward Grayson was born on March 1 1925 and educated at Taunton's School, Southampton, where a master bet him that he could not obtain the signature of the centre-forward GO Smith, who had played for England and the great amateur team, Corinthians. Young Edward bicycled 20 miles through the New Forest to Smith's home at Lymington, and was given the signature. When the boy then asked for a photograph Smith regretted that he had none that were not stuck in albums. But some time later he sent a photograph of himself with CB Fry, hailed by some as the greatest of all amateurs. As a result, Grayson recorded that his "schoolboy's interest in his hero became a devotion".
The experience led him to embark on his journalistic career with two articles in The Cricketer, and the star and the shaver began a correspondence which was to provide the substance of Grayson's charming book Corinthians and Cricketers (1955) and to instill in him the high ideals he never abandoned.
After leaving school Grayson joined the RAF for National Service but was invalided out. He then read Law at Exeter College, Oxford, where the possibility of a football careeer was ended by a broken leg. Following his call to the Bar by Middle Temple he first entered chancery chambers in Lincoln's Inn, then switched to Lewis Hawser's common law set at 1 Garden Court before moving on to 4 Paper Buildings.
Following marriage to Wendy Shockett, who worked for the All England Law Reports, he settled at a flat in the Temple. Grayson found himself conveniently placed for both the courts and Fleet Street, where he encountered at the King and Keys pub The Daily Telegraph's blind sage TE Utley. Grayson was already contributing to several parts of the paper when Hugh Massingberd needed specialist legal help with his new obituaries section.
Grayson initially provided a few short obits, but proved more useful as an invaluable source of sporting wisdom and legal anecdotes, which would be recounted in a torrent of words as writers strove to meet a deadline. While maintaining his busy common law practice, he would come straight from court to the office when summoned, and after attending to the matter in hand, would settle down to dictate an opinion over the phone to his clerk in chambers.
When the Telegraph moved to Docklands he often took the last staff minibus from Fleet Street to South Quay, where the reception desk had a full set of the next day's papers waiting for him. He would then spend the night studying them, talking to the night editor and the sports desk, consulting the library and taking catnaps over a typewriter. When the first members of the staff arrived in the morning, he would still be at the obits desk in his stockinged feet, ready to set off for chambers or court.
But although he could manage on a couple of hours' sleep a night, after a few days the toll would tell. One morning he greeted Massingberd with commiserations on the death of his half-brother, having misunderstood a remark by a member of the sports staff. Eventually the paper's management discovered his all-night vigils and suggested that he would be better off at home.
By then, however, Grayson had a new interest. In the early 1970s he and Michael Havers, who was to become Mrs Thatcher's Lord Chancellor, had written The Royal Baccarat Scandal, about a court case over a card game in which the future King Edward VII appeared in the witness box. Some 15 years later the book was dramatised by Royce Ryton, much to the derision of at least one London critic, who said it would never receive an outing. But it had a successful premiŤre at Chichester, and then went to the West End, with Keith Michell and Fiona Fullerton in the leading roles.
Grayson became such an enthusiastic presence late in the evening that he had once again to be encouraged to spend the night at home. Although the play never became a hit in London, it enjoyed frequent revivals in the provinces, where Grayson could usually be found in the stalls.
In addition he sat on an arbitration panel, produced drafts for parliamentary legislation on the safety of young persons and became a visiting professor at the Anglia Law School. Inevitably, with his enthusiasms, he had a short fuse, and would become particularly incensed with sports administrators, government ministers, and Dr Beeching, the closer of railway branch lines. According to legend, Grayson became so exasperated with one witness in a cross-examination that he accused him of being "a f***ing liar". When the judge interposed to insist that this description be rephrased, Grayson offered instead: "a lying f***er".
He retired from chambers in 2001 to become in-house counsel to a firm of solicitors in east London, but five years later returned to criminal practice, taking on the same kinds of case with which he had started his career, sometimes being briefed by his son Harry, a solicitor. As prosecuting counsel in a magistrate's court Edward Grayson once worked his way through a morning's list of cases without the use of his hearing aid.


John Treleven
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Oct 2, 2008, 8:04 PM

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Edward Grayson: barrister and specialist on sport and the law
(Times, 1st October 2008)

Grayson lamented what he regarded as the withering of the Corinthian ideal
Irrepressibly enthusiastic and garrulous, Edward Grayson was a pioneer in the speciality of sport and the law, appearing both as a barrister in many significant cases and also as a speaker at conferences, where he bombarded delegates and officials of national governing bodies with legal details recalled with his remarkable memory.
After being called to the Bar in 1948, he regularly appeared in court for nearly 60 years until he began suffering from ill-health. Grayson was the founding president of the British Association for Sport and Law and his knowledge of the subject meant that he was often asked by television, radio and newspapers to comment on highly publicised cases.
The abiding theme of his professional life was that the law did not stop at the touchline, arguing successfully that if, for instance, a rugby player punched an opponent during a match that he was subject to the law of the land just as much as if the offence had been committed in the street. This new climate of redress led to governing bodies tightening their disciplinary and administrative procedures, particularly as sport became increasingly commercial, with some individuals demanding compensation if they thought they had been unfairly prevented from following their paid careers.
Still, Grayson lamented the withering of the Corinthian ideal, his sympathy for which was initially aroused during the Second World War when he was a pupil at Taunton's School, Southampton in its temporary premises in Bournemouth, to where it had been evacuated. One of the masters successfully dared him to cycle to Lymington to interview G. O. Smith, the celebrated Old Carthusian and former England footballer. The two corresponded until Smithís death in 1943. This familiarity inspired Grayson to write Corinthians and Cricketers (1955), a book about the successes of the amateur ethos.
Graysonís own football career ended at Oxford when he broke his right leg in the university trials. It was badly set and his mother, fearing he might lose the limb, succeeded in getting it reset in London. He never played again, although he qualified as a referee.
He was initially in Chancery practice at Lincolnís Inn, but moved to do common law work at Middle Temple. During the 1960s he appeared for many councils and protest groups angered by the Beeching plans to reduce the railway network.
During the 1970s he began writing about legal aspects of sport for The Sunday Telegraph, which then published and promoted a pamphlet on the subject. This led to a full-length book Sport and the Law, which has gone into four editions and remains the definitive text.
Tall and angular, Graysonís presence now became a frequent sight at conferences, arguing about such topics as the signing of the Gleneagles Agreement, which dissuaded sporting bodies from having links with South Africa. Grayson wanted these contacts to be maintained, despite the apartheid regime.
Although his briefs as a barrister ranged widely across criminal and civil work, he was particularly in demand for those involving sport. One significant case that he lost on behalf of the plaintiff was when Paul Elliott sought damages after he suffered such a serious knee injury in a challenge from Dean Saunders of Liverpool in 1992 that the Chelsea defender was forced to retire. However, Grayson was successful in 2005 when he appeared for Matthew Mountford, who, eight years earlier, playing rugby for Shoreham College against Newlands Manor School, had suffered permanent disability to his left arm. Mountford, then a 7st boy of 14, had been tackled by an opponent, Raymond Kong, almost twice his weight. Kong was 16, and including a boy of that age in an under-15 team was against the guidelines of the Rugby Football Union. The final damages were reported to be about £250,000.
Grayson was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and visiting professor at Anglia Polytechnic University. Among several other books that he wrote was one that he co-authored with Michael Havers entitled The Royal Baccarat Scandal, depicting events at the Yorkshire house party in 1890 which ended with the future Edward VII having to give evidence in court.
Before his death, Grayson was working on a book lamenting what he believed was a decline in the standard and amount of sport in state schools.
He is survived by his wife and son.
Edward Grayson, barrister and specialist on sport and the law, was born on March 1, 1925. He died on September 23, 2008, aged 83


John McMaster
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Oct 10, 2008, 10:39 PM

Posts: 160
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Re: [John Treleven] Edward Grayson [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Grayson was somewhat cantankerous and once he got a bee in his bonnet there was no way you could challenge him. I was one of those people who thought he led Corinthian Casuals up a one-way street with his poorly researched opinion on them selling the Sheriff of London Shield. But that does not hide the fact that the FA have never had an inventory of their holdings and at times in Lancaster Gate a lot of valuable items were pocketed : it was a real smorgasboard time there over lots of memorabilia and trophies.

 
 


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