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Reporter retires after 44 years and 200,000 stories

A long-standing weekly reporter who took just two sick days in 44 years with the same newspaper is hanging up his notepad.

Hinckley Times veteran Mitch Irving, left, joined his local newspaper in May 1969 and is estimated to have written more than 200,000 stories in that time.

He quickly became well-known for his dedication to the job by covering weekend sports fixtures and evening meetings, rarely taking time off.

On one of the 64-year-old’s sick days he struggled into work – only to be taken home by the editor but returned to the newsroom the next day.

The only time he was late for work was during heavy snow in 2003 when an hour-long walk saw him arrive at the office 15 minutes later than usual.

Hinckley Times editor Simon Holden told the paper: “When I first joined the paper Mitch used to work every weekend and most evenings covering parish council meetings, the theatre, football matches and racing at Mallory Park. He has slowed down a bit now and we do give him weekends off.

“Mitch is the type of reporter every weekly paper needs. He comes into work, rolls his sleeves up and gets on with his job without any fuss.”

Depite a young Mitch being taken on by the Hinckley Times with no formal journalism training, he became an extremely versatile reporter and was at home writing news, sport and entertainment.

He was sports editor for many years and used to cover his beloved Hinckley Athletic home and away, rain or shine.

“Theatre is also a big love of his and he has vowed to carry on writing reviews of plays from the local theatre after he retires,” added Simon.

A young Mitch Irving at his typewriter

He is happily married to his Marion and he writes a column for the paper which his wife often appears in as the GLM (Good Lady Marion).

The pair were good friends when they were young before their lives took them in different directions.

They found each other again a few years ago and were married soon after.

Speaking about his retirement to the Hinckley Times, Mitch says that his wife will keep him busy as she has many jobs planned for him.

And when time allows, he will continue to enjoy his walks and his bowls as well as the odd pint of Pedigree in the pub afterwards.

Mitch has recently written a number of articles in the Hinckley Times reflecting on his time as a news reporter.