Grimsby Telegraph sports editor Geoff Ford has taken early retirement after 40 years in journalism.
The Grimsby-born journalist began his career in 1968 as a junior reporter on the former Lincolnshire Times, and has spent more than 20 years on the sports desk at the Telegraph – reporting on six promotions and six relegations for Grimsby Town Football Club.
During his early career he also worked for the Hull Daily Mail, before joining the Grimsby paper in 1973 as a news reporter.
He was promoted to deputy sports editor in November 1984 and became sports editor three years later.
During that time he has seen the industry change greatly, moving from typewriters and hot metal production to the new electronic age and in May, after the Sports Telegraph ceased publication, he helped launch the Telegraph’s dedicated sports website sportstelegraph.co.uk.
As well as chronicling the successes of sport in the area he was also a familiar figure at Grimsby Town’s Blundell Park and his match reports became required reading.
Geoff, a former Lincs League footballer with Grimsby Amateurs, also plays table tennis and snooker in the Grimsby leagues and has a big passion for golf.
His high moments as sports editor included the visits to Wembley in 1998 to cover Grimsby Town in the Auto Winsdcreens Shield Final and the Division Two Play-Off Final, when the Mariners defeated Bournemouth and Northampton in the space of five weeks.
The big disappointment was at Cardiff when Town were beaten by Cheltenham in the League Two Play-Off Final in 2006.
Geoff intends to see more of his sons on either side of the globe, Matthew in the USA and Australia-based Martin, and get to know his grandchildren.
He will also continue to write his Ford’s Focus column each Friday.