Jon Henderson will be making a round of farewells at Wimbledon over the next fortnight, as the Observer‘s tennis writer plans to concentrate on book writing.
Henderson, 64, assistant sports editor at The Observer, is the latest experienced sports journalist from his newspaper group to accept redundancy terms as management looks to make Â£10 million-worth of cost cuts by the end of the year.
Last week, sportsjournalists.co.uk reported how racing tipster Ron Cox and sports sub Chris Cheers were to leave the Observer‘s daily stablemate, The Guardian.
“With my 65th birthday looming, it just seemed the right time to go with a voluntary redundo package on offer,” the always affable Henderson told sportsjournalists.co.uk.
Henderson’s decision to take the redundancy offer has been hastened by the success of his book, The Last Champion: The Life of Fred Perry.
Henderson started his career in the Rushden office of the Northants Evening Telegraph in 1964. He has been at the Observer since 1991. But his widely admired writing has recently attracted a new audience of admirers.
“I’m having reasonable success with my book and my agent is keen for me to get stuck into a new book as soon as possible,” Henderson said.
“Writing a book and doing a day job doesn’t leave a whole lot of time either for life’s simple or complicated pleasures, which is why I decided to leave the Guardian/Observer payroll a few months short of completing nearly 45 years in the great profession.”
To mark the Wimbledon championships, BBC Radio 4 has selected The Last Champion to be its book of the week from June 29, with extracts to be read by the actor, Jamie Bamber.
Henderson’s last day at the Observer is June 30.
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