Belfast Telegraph

BBC NI sports reporter Niblock on the road to recovery after spinal surgery

By Eamon Sweeney

One of Northern Ireland's best-known media personalities is recovering in hospital following surgery on his back.

Thomas Niblock, a sports journalist for the BBC's Newsline programme, took to social media from his hospital bed to say that he had undergone surgery on Monday afternoon.

"Spinal surgery all afternoon - too soon to say - but I'm alive and just in time to see the boys in green. Frankie and mum, you've been amazing," he wrote on Twitter, also posting a photograph of himself in his hospital bed.

The BBC man appeared to be in good form despite recovering from surgery and was able to enjoy the Republic of Ireland's qualifying match against Wales on Monday evening.

Mr Niblock shared in the thrill and delight of fans after Londonderry man James McClean scored the winning goal for the Republic, and even appeared to have been cheering from his hospital bed.

He also tweeted: "I've been asked to stop shouting. Get right in there. Brilliant."

The presenter received a raft of good wishes in response to his tweet revealing his hospital stay, with one man writing: "A late McClean winner would be a great pain reliever I'd say... along with the morphine. Get well soon."

A host of his BBC colleagues also sent their best wishes, including Tara Mills, who tweeted: "Wishing you a speedy recovery Thomas!"

Ita Dungan also wrote: "Hope you are on the mend soon Thomas... And last night's result eased the pain a bit."

Last night the journalist's tweet had received almost 600 likes in total, and scores more responses and retweets.

Mr Niblock is a mainstay of the BBC's annual gaelic football output during the Ulster Championship.

The journalist has also produced a documentary on the highly successful Co Armagh gaelic club Crossmaglen Rangers, which appeared last year as part of BBC 1 Northern Ireland's popular True North series. The broadcaster did not elaborate on what he was being treated for in hospital.

Last night a spokesman for the BBC told the Belfast Telegraph: "We wish Thomas a speedy recovery."

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