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A TRIBUTE TO MEL BOOTH

1 September 2020

Mel Booth ends his time at the Huddersfield Examiner

- Special piece dedicated to Mel Booth
- Sports Editor ends time at the Huddersfield Examiner
- Mel’s final game was Town’s draw with Man Utd’s U23s

Pre-season friendlies often don’t live long in the memory, but Saturday’s match against Manchester United’s Under-23 was an exception to that rule for many at Huddersfield Town.

An entertaining 3-3 draw was an appropriately exciting send-off for someone who has spent 35 years writing reports and reaction to football games, as the Huddersfield Examiner’s Mel Booth brought a close to his long association with the football club before retiring.

It many ways, it felt fitting for me too given the unusual circumstances that the pandemic have forced upon football. I first met Mel 15 years’ ago when I joined the Club, and back in those days it was often just the two of us sat in the John Smith’s Stadium press box covering the old Pontins League games!

His final Town interview took place in the home dugout after Saturday’s friendly, as he talked to Aaron Rowe about his promising pre-season, and he conducted it with the same detail and enthusiasm for Aaron’s future as he has throughout his career.

You often read about frosty relationships between sporting clubs and their local newspapers, but that couldn’t have been further from the case during Mel’s long tenure. There have been disagreements along the way, as you would expect, most recently when we turned the match day music at an inopportune time and killed his live Facebook blog! However, it was always crystal clear that these were never anything personal. Mel has many, many qualities as a journalist and most importantly as a man, and trustworthiness is right up there with them.

He’s seen so many ups and downs in Town’s history during his spell, and he’s always covered us with a balance of objectivity and informed opinion.

Everyone at the Club is delighted that Mel is ready to retire, but selfishly gutted that we won’t see him around as much. He is, of course, welcome at the John Smith’s whenever he wants to visit, and we certainly plan to give him a proper send-off once we’re all OK to be back at the ground. To go from speaking every day to seeing him a few times a year will be very strange.

For now, on behalf at everyone at the Club, I’d like to wish Mel all the best as he gets more time to spend with his wife Carol and his beloved Scholes CC.

 


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