Sindie’s Fox opts to call it a day

Norman Fox, a former sports editor at The Times, is to retire at the end of this football season.

Now living in Whitstable, Fox joined the Independent on Sunday to work as football correspondent and athletics writer, more recently freelancing and writing books. But now, he has chosen to hang up his notebook.

“Having seen too many people go on working beyond their sell-by date (thus depriving younger journalists opportunities) and now being about to receive my bus pass, I will stop my reporting work for the Independent on Sunday at the end of this season,” Fox said.

Fox began his career in local newspapers in Kent, before working on World Sport magazine. Fox then spent 23 years at The Times, first as a sub, then football correspondent, athletics correspondent and sports editor, ultimately working as the newspaper’s managing editor.

In his time on the road, Fox covered all major international football competitions, and several Olympic and Commonwealth Games, which saw him in Munich for the 1972 Games, where he managed to roll into the Athletes’ Village during the Black September terrorists’ hostage siege.

“I rather think this was one of those stories that tend to get a bit embroidered after a long day and perhaps (just perhaps) a wee amount of ‘refuelling’,” Fox said in some recent correspondence.

“I was very much Neil Allen’s bag carrier in Munich (only went to do the swimming),” Fox said with typical modesty: the swimming events at the 1972 Olympics, of course, were remarkable for Mark Spitz’s seven gold medals, plus the feats of Australia’s Shane Gould and the emergence of Britain’s David Wilkie.

“All I had to do concerning the massacre was keep a watching brief from outside the Village. I did walk the perimeter fence and at one point it was obvious that it had been damaged sufficiently to get underneath.

“I managed it but rapidly decided that it would be stupid to go any further and went back. I heard later that (though I have no evidence) photographers had got in that way but been turned back.”

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