By Barry Newcombe
Wimbledon has paid tribute to veteran sports journalist Nigel Clarke, who completes 50 years at the tournament this year.
Clarke was presented with a cut glass decanter and glasses by Geoff Newton, the chairman of the All England Club media committee. The All England Club also made a presentation to Kevin Geary, who has recently retired as a sports reporter at BBC News.
Clarke came into Fleet Street in 1955 as a messenger boy for Dixons News Agency, which wrote stories for all the national newspapers. Clarke’s job was to hand deliver them to all the offices. While there he covered Christine Truman v Angela Mortimer’s all-British women’s singles final at Wimbledon in 1961 for the Sunday Mirror, and South African morning newspapers. He has been at Wimbledon ever since, with the single exception of 1990 when England reached football’s World Cup semi-finals.
He moved to the Exchange Telegraph agency in 1964, and the next year joined the Daily Mirror and became the right-hand man for columnist Peter Wilson.
He became deputy chief football reporter, chief sports reporter and chief sports writer, including non-stop coverage of Wimbledon, and the tennis circuit from Rome to Paris, to New York and Australia.
Next he became football editor of Daily Mail, but still worked on tennis. Most recently, Clarke moved to the Daily Express as assistant sports news editor, with special responsibilities for Chelsea, West Ham and, of course, tennis.
- Wimbledon’s Press facilities were voted the best in the sporting world in 2010 by the international sports press association, AIPS, and an engraved plate was presented to Wimbledon on their behalf by Barry Millns, the newly elected chairman of the Lawn Tennis Writers’ Association.
UPCOMING SJA DATES
- Thu July 14: SJA Sporting lunch with Charles van Commenee, head coach of UK Athletics, one year ahead of the London Olympics. For booking details click here.
- Mon Sep 12: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Click here for more details and to book yourself in for the day.
- Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – Booking now open. For more details, click here.
All details subject to alteration. Keep checking sportsjournalists.co.uk for updates