Phil Gifford is the first person to be twice judged New Zealand sports journalist of the year. Awarded the 2010 SPARC lifetime achievement award for services to sports journalism, he is the only New Zealand journalist to report from every Rugby World Cup since 1987. He’s covered every rugby test in New Zealand since 1977, and reported on rugby in Great Britain, Ireland, France, South Africa, Argentina and Samoa. He writes a weekly column for the Sunday Star-Times. Phil has hosted No.1 shows at Radio Hauraki in Auckland, and 91ZM and More FM in Christchurch, winning 12 New Zealand and two Australasian radio awards.
He created in print a satirical rugby character, Loosehead Len, a column that ran for 32 years from 1973. In 2011 he wrote the sellout Rugby World Cup book, “Cup Glory”, released three days after the cup final, and in 2012 came “Valerie”, the full, astonishing biography of Valerie Adams, which has become the best selling book ever about a New Zealand sportswoman. “Valerie” is his 19th book. In total his books have sold a quarter of a million copies. Phil recently toured the country as an MC for a series of dinners honouring Sir Graham Henry.
A funny, informative speaker, he offers an inside look at rugby, the World Cup, the media, and what really happened when Valerie Adams won her gold medal in London.
“In an after dinner speech I want to make people laugh, and to do that I increasingly tell true stories. They’re easier to remember.”