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Sports journalist leaves newspaper after 44 years of service

A journalist who has covered sport for a weekly newspaper for more than four decades has retired.

Rhod Mitchell has left the West Briton, in Cornwall, which he joined as a teenage trainee in 1973.

After moving from news reporting to sport in 1977, Rhod has since covered a series of Cornish sporting triumphs including victory in rugby union’s County Championship in 1991 and football team Truro City winning the FA Vase at Wembley in 2007.

Rhod, 63, worked his final day at the newspaper last month.

Rhod receives his farewell front page from Cornwall Live editor Jacqui Merrington

Rhod, left, receives his farewell front page from Cornwall Live editor Jacqui Merrington

He said: “I’m happy to go, you can’t go on forever I’ve had a very good innings. To last for so long in these troubled times is a very rare occurrence. Now I am looking forward to enjoying the first days of the rest of my life out on the golf course.”

A supporter of Leeds United FC, Rhod’s last assignment was to interview the club’s former managing director David Haigh, who hs joined the executive committee of Penzance Football Club.

Jacqui Merrington, editor of the West Briton’s online arm Cornwall Live, said: “Rhod is a gentleman and a legend, and his name is synonymous with sport in Cornwall. Everything he does is done with dedication and attention to detail, and he always puts in far beyond what’s expected. He has mentored numerous young sports journalists over the years.

“One of his famous catchphrases for anyone arriving late at the office is, ‘Here comes the night shift’, and there are some great stories. On a weekend away as a trainee, the story goes that Rhod got locked out of his hotel after a night of excess, and had to spend the night on the chief reporter’s floor.

“But I think Rhod collapsing on the dance floor at a Christmas party at the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay is my favourite tale. Being carried out by five men, only to fall asleep in a hotel corridor… blame the gin.

“It is fitting that as a Leeds United fan, Rhod’s last assignment was to interview the former Leeds managing director, David Haigh. On his final day, he told me his last story was his expenses claim. Rhod has been an absolute star, and he will be sadly missed here.”

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  • March 2, 2017 at 10:22 am

    A good sport and possibly the last of his kind. All those winter afternoons and evenings shivering and scribbling on the sidelines. Wonder how many weekly sports writers do that now, if they have any.
    Some local teams do not see a sports reporter from one season’s end to next. (send us a report and picture please..)

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