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Big match turnaround for sports reporter Mark

For 13 years, Mark Roach reported on non-league football, covering games for local weeklies such as the Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Observer and Grantham Journal.

Many readers followed the teams’ exploits through their local paper but the average attendance was usually around the 200 mark.

Now times have changed – Mark landed a job as Chelsea reporter for North West London Newspapers – part of the Independent Regionals group – a little over 18 months ago and is now settling down to the enviable task of being paid to watch £100m of new talent play in the Champions League in front of crowds of more than 40,000.

Mark also overcame the challenge of a host of national newspapers last season to win a Chelsea prediction competition run by Chelsea FC’s main sponsors Emirates.

His prize was a five night trip for two to Dubai.

He received the prize on the pitch at Stamford Bridge, moments before presenting North West London Newspapers’ Chelsea player of the season award to Gianfranco Zola, the last public presentation made to the player before he left Chelsea to return to his native Italy.

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