University of Derby honours Rippon with degree

An SJA member has been awarded an honorary degree for “services to journalism and literary production”, and is to receive his award alongside a Hollywood actor and the owner of the football club he has supported since he was a boy.

Game on: Anton Rippon used non-league day to enjoy a game at a ground he has not visited in decades
Game on: Anton Rippon’s career in journalism is to be recognisedby the University of Derby

Anton Rippon, a former reporter and feature writer with the Derby Evening Telegraph, and editor of the 2016 SJA Yearbook, is to become an Honorary Master of the University of Derby at the same ceremony as Derby-born actor Jack O’Connell – who recently starred opposite George Clooney and Jodie Foster in the film Money Monster – that will also honour Derby County owner Mel Morris.

Rippon also worked in the Nottingham Evening Post’s features department, covered football as a freelance for the Sunday Telegraph, and worked for BBC Radio Derby before, in 1982, founding Breedon Books, which he built into one of Britain’s most well-known sports publishers. He sold that business in 2003, and since then has freelanced, with two weekly columns in the Derby Telegraph as well as working for Derby County’s media department. He is the author of 30 books, mostly on sport including Hitler’s Olympics, and From Gas Masks to Goalposts: Football in Britain During World War Two.

In December, Derby County Former Players’ Association named Rippon the recipient of its annual merit award for services to the club.

Rippon said: “These things come as a bit of shock because I’ve never taken myself seriously – I’ve always found that ends in disappointment – and when I left grammar school in 1961 and asked the headmaster for a reference, the best he could come up with was that I had the ability to make people smile. I’ve been trying to do that ever since.”

Rippon receives his award at the ceremony at Derby Arena on July 15, when Morris and O’Connell will tag along.