Henry Winter is to leave the Daily Telegraph to fulfill a life-long ambition to become a sports correspondent at The Times, following in the footsteps of his journalism hero, Geoffrey Green.
SJA member Winter has been the Telegraph‘s football correspondent since 1994.
It has been a bad few weeks for the Telegraph, with the very public resignation of politics writer Peter Oborne and the abrupt departure of editor-in-chief Jason Seiken.
But the loss of Winter could be the biggest blow of all.
“Staff will be horrified at this news,” one Telegraph insider has been quoted as saying.
Satirical magazine Private Eye is reporting that Winter had been “prised away for a sum north of £200,000”. It also suggests that the sportswriter is seeking early release from a contract which involves an 18-month notice period.
Sources close to Winter suggest that he had always harboured the ambition to follow Geoffrey Green, the esteemed football correspondent of The Times for 40 years. So when an opportunity to write for the paper arose, nothing would have kept him at the Telegraph.
Winter, who began his career in national newspaper journalism subbing the six-point sports results for The Independent at its launch in 1986, is renowned for his voracious appetite for football, and for work. He never willingly misses out on covering a match.
He has also built up a massive social media presence, with more than 1 million followers on Twitter – more than the Telegraph itself.
Winter’s work has won him the SJA’s Specialist Correspondent title four times, and last month he was the overwhelming winner of the new SJA Football Writer of the Year Award.
Neither the Telegraph sports desk nor Winter responded to sportsjournalists.co.uk’s request for a comment.
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UPCOMING SJA EVENTS
Wed Apr 22: SJA 2015 annual meeting. Details have been sent to all SJA members
Mon Sep 14: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill Golf Club