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Retired reporter given switch-on honour

An “honoured” retired journalist turned on a town’s Christmas lights in a ceremony he used to cover during his 44-year career.

Brian Gomm, who worked for the Leigh Journal for more than four decades until his retirement in July, performed the honour after being asked by Wigan Borough’s former mayor Councillor Myra Whiteside.

He was watched by a crowd of thousands as he switched on the lights at Leigh Town Hall, joined by current mayor Councillor Phyll Cullen and members of Leigh Centurions Rugby League Club, pictured below.

A talented sportsman, he once turned out for the team after arriving at their ground to cover a match for the Journal and discovering they were a player short.

Brian Gomm

Said Brian: “I was really surprised and honoured to be asked to perform the lights switch on, following in the footsteps of VIPs such as comedian Ken Dodd.

“I’ve covered many Christmas lights events for the Leigh Journal including the time my younger daughter jointly presented Doddy with his ‘Honorary Leyther’ (resident of Leigh) certificate at the Town Hall following a switch-on ceremony.

“I’m just an ordinary person who enjoyed covering events in Leigh and surrounding districts during my journalistic career.

“Hopefully the many thousands of words I wrote during almost 44 years with the Journal gave locals a fair insight into the weekly news.

“I met many interesting people with some amazing stories.

“I feel humbled that people should feel me worthy of turning on the lights.”


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  • December 10, 2014 at 9:52 am

    If ever you can say something is “well deserved” then this is it. We won’t see the like of Brian again – modern managements hate individuality. And a great honour for my old paper the Leigh Journal. In its day it was one of the very best.

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