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Iraq war veteran turned head of sport leaves papers

A veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who took on a newly-created head of sport role last summer has left his job after four months.

Mal Robinson joined Trinity Mirror’s North East division ncjmedia as editor (football, fan engagement & sports development) following the introduction of its new ‘digital first’ newsroom last year.

His brief was to oversee sports coverage on Newcastle-based titles the Chronicle, Journal and Sunday Sun and during his time with the papers he helped get Newcastle United’s ban on ncjmedia journalists lifted.

However editor-in-chief Darren Thwaites has confirmed that Mal has now left the business.

Mal Robinson faces the cameras

Mal Robinson faces the cameras

Said Darren: “We thank Mal for his contribution and wish him well for the future.

“Our sports teams remain in great shape to continue the impressive audience growth they’ve achieved since the launch of our digitally-led newsroom last year.”

Mal began his career as a freelance sports writer for various football magazine and match programmes before joining the RAF in 2003 and seeing active service in the two Middle Eastern conflicts.

He then returned to football writing and in 2009, published a book on North East football entitled “Auf Wiedersehen Lads” before launching Media73 – a magazine publishing company producing retro football magazines – two years’ later.

Other projects have included launching a national England football magazine entitled Sixty6 and helping write a book about Niall Quinn’s time at Sunderland.

The Chronicle, Journal and Sunday Sun were banned from the press box at St James’s Park for most of the 2013-14 season and part of the current one after the club objected to their coverage of a fans’ protest against owner Mike Ashley, but the ban was lifted before Christmas.