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‘True gent’ sports reporter quits after 17 years

A “kind natured” sports reporter known for his cross-country treks to cover local non-league football sides has left journalism after 17 years at two sister titles.

David Rimmer has left the Harlow Star and the Bishop’s Stortford-based Herts & Essex Observer following a tenure which saw him become a “huge hit” at sports clubs across the two titles’ respective patches.

Initially working as a freelance at the Observer in 1997, he was taken on full-time by then-publishing editor Gary Matthews.

During his time there he travelled far and wide to report on both Harlow Town and Bishop’s Stortford FC, once using an overnight sleeper coach to an away match in Northumberland in his own bid to save the company money.

David Rimmer

Paying tribute to David, pictured above left with cricket commentator Henry Blofeld, long-time colleague Alan Scott said: “Because of his kind nature he hasn’t upset too many people in Observer and Star land.

“He would often go and see a player in hospital if they had broken a leg or such like, and I’m sure this is why he is held in such high regard by so many people. He’s a great man, a true gent and will be sadly missed.”

In a farewell piece in the Observer, Alan recalled a particular anecdote which arose from David covering Harlow’s away match at Didcot during the 1998/99 season.

He wrote: “He was in typical faithful Labrador mode as he tried to retrieve the ball after it had been kicked out into touch, by leaping over a fence.

“However, he somehow managed to rip his coat in half and the now coatless Rimmer froze on the coach ride back.

“But, several months later the Harlow players had a whip round to pay for a new coat. They must have felt guilty.”