Frank Johnson has said farewell to The Northern Echo after 45 years service as Sunderland Football Club reporter.
Colleagues paid tribute to what editor Peter Barron described as “one of the most remarkable careers in the history of The Northern Echo”.
Frank joined the paper at its Sunderland office as a 16-year-old before moving to the Darlington head office and later Guisborough.
But his real ambition was to become a football writer and he realised his dream when he was appointed Sunderland FC reporter 42 years ago.
He has covered the team ever since, the highlight being Sunderland’s heroic 1973 FA Cup Final victory over favourites Leeds.
Frank, who has also covered athletics and greyhound racing, is looking forward to his retirement – especially the opportunity to spend more time on his favourite hobby, fishing, and colleagues presented him with a new pair of wading boots to replace his old pair which leaked every time he went fishing.
Peter Barron said: “It is incredible to think that Frank has been loyal to the same newspaper for 45 years. Few can match that and I doubt we will see that record broken.”
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