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Regional reporter faces national competition for sports journalism award

Will WattA regional daily reporter will face national competition after being nominated for a sports journalism award.

Will Watt, pictured left, of The Gazette, Blackpool, has been shortlisted in the Football Journalist of the Year category at the North West Football Awards.

The awards celebrate the “brightest and best” of football in the North-West of England.

Other nominees in the category are Tony Barrett, of The Times, Howard Booth, of BBC North West Tonight, Jack Dearden, of BBC Radio Manchester, Jonathan Northcroft, of The Sunday Times, Mark Ogden, of the Daily Telegraph and Jimmy Wagg, of BBC Radio Manchester.

Last week Blackpool FC, the club Will covers for The Gazette, admitted restricting the newspaper’s access for commercial reasons.

In July, Will publicly called on the Football Association to step in to stop the practice of clubs banning media outlets.

The winner of the award will be chosen from a panel of judges which includes former Football Association chief executive Mark Palios.

The ceremony itself will be held on 16 November at Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester.

Will is also nominated in the Sports Journalist of the Year – Print category at the O2 North West Media Awards, which are held four days before that.