Neil Wilson, the honorary treasurer of the SJA, is picking up his pension – and some redundancy – after 17 years as athletics correspondent of the Daily Mail. Not that we have seen the last of him. He plans to be back in harness – and in the sport – before the end of the summer.
“I am celebrating my 40th year covering athletics and the post-Olympic lull seemed like a good time for a long break when it was offered to me,” he said. “The Mail wants me to be involved in its 2012 team, so hopefully there’s that to look forward to before I finally call it a day.
“I certainly won’t be holidaying for six months unless painting, decorating and gardening at my son’s holiday home in Burgundy falls into that category.”
Wilson first covered athletics for the London office of United Newspapers and World Sports magazine in 1969. He later wrote on it for the Sunday Mirror before joining the Mail in 1979. Among the original journalists at The Independent in 1986, he returned to the Mail in 1991, latterly as Olympics correspondent. He has covered 18 Olympic Games, summer and winter.
As well as serving as SJA treasurer since 2007 – Wilson will stand down at the AGM in April – he has also been a stalwart of the British Athletics’ Writers’ Association, having been chairman and secretary.
Following the highs of the Beijing Olympics, athletics writers must be feeling beleagured at present: as well as Wilson, Ian Chadband (Evening Standard), Tom Knight (Daily Telegraph), Mike Rowbottom (The Independent) and Duncan Mackay (The Observer) have all left their positions in recent months.
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