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Fergie leads tributes to renowned sports editor

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has led tributes to a renowned sports editor who worked for a regional daily for almost 50 years.

Malcolm Brodie, left, who has died aged 86, worked for the Belfast Telegraph for most of his career and helped to set up its first sports desk.

Starting out in journalism at the Portadown News after he was evacuated from Glasgow to Portadown when the Second World War broke out, he joined the Bel Tel in 1943 as a copy-taker, becoming a news reporter a year later and then a Parliamentary reporter, before helping to form the paper’s sports department.

Malcolm remained at the title until his retirement in 1991 and continued to write a memory lane column into his 80s. He covered 14 World Cups for the title, earning the Jules Rimet Award from FIFA, pictured, and he was also awarded an MBE.

Sir Alex told the BBC’s Talkback programme he had known Malcolm for about 40 years and he was a “fantastic man”.

He said: “He cut to the chase, quite simply that’s how he was. He was straight talking and one thing I always admired about him, he never changed his accent, which is very difficult living in a place like Belfast.

“He never lost the energy to do his job and he obviously enjoyed doing it and had enthusiasm about it. It’s very hard to retain enthusiasm for your job right up to your 80s.”

Jim Gracey, the Belfast Telegraph group’s current sports editor, said: “He was a wonderful man and a wonderful journalist who must have taught generations of sports reporters, myself included.

“He had a contacts book like no other. Everybody in soccer – from Pele to Sir Alex Ferguson – knew him. The man was beyond a legend.”