The Questionnaire: Trevor Bond

Trevor Bond is one of the longest serving committee members of the Sports Journalists’ Association, a past Chairman and twice working as the Association’s Secretary.

He is still busy, arranging social events for members and helping to edit the AIPS Magazine.

Here, he outlines a working career that started with Tilbury Town and went all the way to Wembley and seeing Bobby Moore at the 1966 World Cup final. He maintains the ambition of watching the Ashes series in Australia, and admiration for Lester Piggott, Tiger Woods and Dario Gradi.

Give details of your career to date

I started at 18 on local papers, first with the Essex and Thurrock Gazette, then the Romford Times (as sports editor) and finally the Stratford Express as sports editor and editor. Joined Sunday Telegraph as deputy sports editor in 1969, became sports editor in 1972. Head-hunted by the Mail on Sunday when it launched in 1982 as associate sports editor. Retired in 1993 but retained on a freelance basis until 1997.

Joined SWA (as it was then) in 1969 (after being entreated by the daunting and wonderful Pat Besford). Committee member (1974-76) and since 1991. Chairman in 1994-95 and secretary for a second term from 1998- 2005.

What was your first assignment?

Covering Tilbury FC v Leyton-Wingate (Athenian League), November 1955. Tilbury won 2-1 and I received the handsome sum of 21 shillings for beating the local freelance (much older than me) to the telephone to send the result through to the Evening News, Star and Standard. In the fudge box of course – hands up all who remember the Star, News and Standard – and fudge boxes.

What has been your most memorable assignment?

Being allowed by my job to follow my favourite club, West Ham, in every round of the Cup-winners’ Cup in 1964-65 through to the final at Wembley where they beat TSV Munschen 80 2-0. Then seeing West Ham (sorry, England), through Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. win the World Cup against West Germany in 1966.

What career do you think you might have followed had you not worked on sport?

At school always thought of being a foreign correspondent. That was the reason I studied modern languages.

Does your family have any involvement in sport, or the business?

Two sons, Mark and Duncan, who love sport and now play mostly golf. Duncan used to be a goalkeeper and has the distinction of saving a penalty in a press competition at Wembley. Brian Scovell will confirm this – he was there. Duncan has has been picture editor of Shoot magazine and World Soccer for many years now and also contributes a column.

What sports event would you most like to attend?

Having been privileged in a long life to witness most major events at least once, but never having been to Australia, it would have to be this winter’s Ashes series down under.

Which colleagues have been the greatest help or most influential in your career?

Peter Owen on the local newspapers who giuded me throught the pitfalls of starting out; wonderful staff at the Sunday Telegraph; Patrick Collins and the late Joe Melling who were so supportive during some difficult later days at the Mail on Sunday; and Ron Greenwood, whose marvellous insight of soccer taught me so much about understanding and loving the beautiful game.

What has been the best sports-related book you have read recently, and why?

My Spin on Cricket by Richie Benaud; How to Take a Penalty (totally relevant) by Rob Eastaway and John Haigh; An Irreverant History of Soccer by Norman Giller.

Name your greatest sporing hero, and why

Toss-up between Muhammed Ali, Bobby Moore and Sir Garfield Sobers – probably because I was privileged to see them in their greatest moments of triumph.

What changes in the business during your career have you most welcomed? …and what changes in the business do you really dislike?

As a veteran, never could come to terms with all aspects of new techology (just loved working with “hot metal”) but the advent of the website has given communication and information an important new meaning.

My dislikes? Feeling that accountants now run the media in all its forms, that and the instant touchline mike thrust under a competitor’s nose.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to enter the profession?

Still believe in beginning in journalism at grass roots level. No one can succeed without genuine talent but they need the opportunity and the luck to go with it.

Flintoff or Strauss?

I go for Strauss as a more natural captain. Let Freddie do what he does best – bat and bowl. That’s where his inspiration comes from.

Piggott or Fallon?

Definitely Piggott

Nicklaus or Tiger?

Time will prove Tiger surely, but Player and Palmer modernised the game to enable them to be up there as the greatest.

Mourinho or Wenger?

Sorry – give me Dario Gradi any time