Now he has been appointed as chairman of the group co-ordinating Swansea’s celebrations for the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas next year.
Thomas was born in the city on October 27, 1914 and went on to write the play for voices Under Milk Wood as well as some of the greatest poetry of the 20th century.
Said Spencer: “This is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity for his home town to celebrate Dylan’s life and work
“This is quite a change for me. I am looking forward to it.”
Events already in the pipeline range from a newly-commissioned opera of Under Milk Wood, to a book on Thomas’s favourite pubs, many of which were in Swansea.
The centenary celebrations are also being seen as an important springboard for Swansea’s bid to be the UK City of Culture in 2017.
Spencer enjoyed a 43-year career in regional newspapers, the last 26 spent editing daily and weekly titles.