A sports reporter was presented with a signed football club’s shirt to mark the 1,000th game he has covered.
Carl Marston has spent 22 years reporting on the fortunes of Colchester United for the East Anglian Daily Times.
To mark the four-figure milestone he was presented with the shirt, complete with ‘Marston 1000′ printed on the back, by Colchester manager Tony Humes.
He reached the landmark at Rochdale FC’s Spotland ground, coincidentally the very place where he covered his first Colchester match more than two decades ago.
In a piece for the EADT about his achievement, Carl wrote: “Much has changed over the years, both off the pitch and on it.
“While my beloved Colchester United have enjoyed two promotions, two Wembley appearances, two seasons in the Championship and a trip to Chelsea, as well as one relegation and a series of FA Cup hic-cups, my own role is much-altered.
“Back in the late autumn of 1992, my first priority was sending over copy for the Green ‘Un newspaper (the old Football Star) via the magic of the telephone (and a land-line, not a mobile!).
“Every 10 minutes, I would ring the office to speak to one of the copytakers (most of them formidable ladies, who I dared not cross) and dictate a few paragraphs of worthy copy about the fortunes of Roy McDonough’s Colchester side.
“The result, and introduction to my match report, would be phoned over on the final whistle, and the Green ‘Un newspaper would be all done-and-dusted, and ready to be sold in the streets, by early Saturday evening.
He added: “Today, instead of watching the game closely with just a few notes to write, and a few phone calls to make, I am suddenly faced with having to update websites, attach photographs to stories, and send a barrage of tweets, via the medium of Twitter, to ‘followers’ all over the world.
“There is hardly time to blink, or even sip my coffee. My eyes spend more time looking down, at computers and mobile phones, than they do watching Tony Humes’ current crop of players struggling to come to terms with a League One relegation battle. But it’s still fun.”
EADT editor Terry Hunt said: “Carl has covered tens of thousands of miles following the U’s to most of league football’s far-flung and often unglamorous football grounds to cover matches.
“He thoroughly deserved the accolades he received on reaching the 1,000 landmark.”