Three editors turned out to pay tribute to long-standing Birmingham Mail reporter Jim Guthrie, who has retired after almost 38 years at the paper.
Jim bowed out just days before reaching 65 after working as the Mail’s Mr Staffordshire since 1968 following previous spells with the Hartlepool Mail and the Wolverhampton Express and Star.
He has covered the Tamworth and Lichfield patch ever since, and was one of the first reporters on the scene of the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974.
Former Mail editor Ian Dowell, his long-serving deputy Tony Dickens, former Birmingham News editor now Gloucester Citizen editor Ian Mean and current Birmingham Mail editor Steve Dyson all converged on the Bowling Green pub in Lichfield to pay tribute.
The array of former colleagues joined his current workmates and included retired Staffordshire reporters John Slater, Derek Mee, John Baker and other prominent figures in the West Midlands media world.
Hartlepool-born Jim said he would look back on his career with affection and paid tribute to his wife Rosel, who has been at his side for 41 years.
He said: “I have had a lot of fun along the way and seen a lot of changes in newspapers.
“I’ve met a lot of people I would never have met in other jobs and been to places I would not otherwise have been.”
Editor Steve Dyson said: “Jim has been a real ambassador for the Mail, a true gent who has spread and maintained the paper’s reputation in Staffordshire for 37 years.
“He’s a fine man who has worked his socks off for the company for the best part of four decades – someone we respect and are proud of.
“More than most, Jim really deserves his retirement and I wish him all the very best along with Rosel, who has patiently supported him throughout his career.”