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Belfast Telegraph Legends: Malcolm Brodie

By Gary Grattan

Former Belfast Telegraph Sports Editor Malcolm Brodie has recalled his 50-year career with the Belfast Telegraph in a video interview.

Video: Malcolm Brodie reflects on his career

Malcolm, (83) retired from the paper in 1991 but is still involved in journalism, writing a regular column, ‘Down Memory Lane’.

He tells how his parents took a decision to send him and his brother to Belfast from Glasgow when The Second World War broke out (his grandparents lived here) as they felt it would be safer.

Malcolm, who aspired to becoming a journalist as a young boy, got his first job with the Portadown News and ‘got a foot in the door’ at the Belfast Telegraph in 1943 when he saw a vacancy for a copy-taker advertised.

After about a year he became a news reporter, covering the courts – “I remember being baffled by the legalities” – and council meetings at Belfast City Hall.

He went on to be appointed Acting Deputy Parliamentary Correspondent but, after becoming disenchanted with the lack of real authority at Stormont, decided to pursue his dream of working in sports journalism.

“The Belfast Telegraph didn’t have a proper Sports Department at that time so I suggest to them that they should.

“Billy McClatchey, who was known as ‘Ralph the Rover’, and Jack Magowan, both of whom have sadly passed on, helped me form the basis of what is the Sports Department as it is today,” recalled Malcolm.

Among his many achievements, Malcolm was awarded the Jules Rimet Trophy by FIFA as the journalist who has covered more World Cups than any other – a staggering 14, beginning in 1954.

He was also made an Honorary Life Employee of the Belfast Telegraph by former Managing Director, the late Bob Crane.

After he retired, Malcolm set about completing a book chronicling the history of the Belfast Telegraph.

The project had been started by former Editor John E Sayers but, sadly, he died before he was able to finish it.

“I still keep busy. Retirement isn’t on my radar. I still do my column ‘Down Memory Lane’ and I’m writing so many obituaries people think I should be employed by a funeral undertaker!

“The whole aspect of being employed by the Belfast Telegraph has filled me with pride.

“The Telegraph is in my heart. No matter how long you are away from it, I always refer to it as ‘our paper’!

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