Hedley Mortlock: an appreciation

By Barry Newcombe, Chairman, SJA
Hedley Mortlock, the founding president of the New Zealand Sports Journalists’ Association, has died in Auckland of cancer. He was 66.

Mortlock had worked in London and took Fleet Street tabloid techniques back to his home country.

Mortlock worked for The Sun after starting his career on the Christchurch Press. When in England, he wrote on rugby and covered the infamous New Zealand tour to Britain in 1972-73, when a player was sent home for punching a security guard in Cardiff.

Mortlock returned to New Zealand to become sports editor of the New Zealand Truth. He was also the Wellington correspondent for the Sunday News.

Mortlock was a media liaison officer at Mount Smart Stadium for the 1990 Commonwealth Games and more recently worked for the Department for Courts.

He is survived by his partner, Briody O’Neill and son Simon.

Everyone at the SJA send their deepest sympathies to Hedley’s family.