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Sports editor and local legend recalls biggest news story in his 37 years

As the Scunthorpe Telegraph celebrates its 70th anniversary, long-serving sports editor Bob Steels looks back at his time on the newspaper.

For 37 years one Scunthorpe Telegraph reporter has been a ‘fixture’ in the office and has become something of a local legend.

Current sports editor Bob Steels started as a cub news reporter in 1970 when he was just 18.

He spent ten years covering all manner of local stories until he took the opportunity to move onto the sports desk and work his way up to be sports editor.

The 55-year-old now runs a team of dedicated sports reporters and looks back fondly on his years with the paper.

He said: “In those days we were very reliant on Grimsby for a lot of the national sports news. There were just old-fashioned typewriters and no mobile phones.

“There was just a kiosk in the corner of the office and three phones that you had to wait your turn to use.”

He said reporters had to type their copy on to copy paper and if they made a mistake they had to start again.

“Everything is so perfect on computers now,” he said.

Bob was one of the first reporters on the scene during the Nypro explosion (Flixborough disaster) in 1974 when 28 people were killed.

He said: “My biggest memory would have to be the Nypro disaster which all the news team was involved with.

“I was on the news team which worked that weekend and myself and photographer Norman Reeder were probably the first news people down there and it was an incredible sight.”

He said unfortunately the paper could not run the story until the Monday night, at which point it had already had widespread coverage.

“One of the things I remember from that night were the more senior reporters in the phone booths and one of them talking to a big American news network doing a live interview from a booth in the corner.”