Full-time whistle sounds for veteran JEP sports reporter
AN era ended at the JEP yesterday as veteran sports reporter Andy Bradshaw retired after more than a half-century’s service.
Mr Bradshaw joined the paper as an apprentice compositor at the age of 15 in December 1971, a week after leaving St Helier Boys School. He was based in Charles Street during his six-year apprenticeship prior to the JEP’s move to a new site at Five Oaks in 1977.
When the paper’s 42-year spell at Five Oaks ended last month, Mr Bradshaw made the move back to new offices in St Helier, just a few yards from the old Charles Street premises.
Current and former colleagues, as well as several members of Mr Bradshaw’s family, joined a farewell presentation yesterday afternoon, with leaving gifts including a garden shed in which he will spend some of his retirement, and a Chelsea shirt bearing the number 47 to denote his number of completed years as a full-time employee.
Mr Bradshaw’s time on the JEP payroll stretches to more than 50 years when his work as a van boy on deliveries is added in. From the age of 11, Mr Bradshaw’s after-school round included more than 500 papers and could take more than four hours on Fridays, when payment was collected from customers. After working to set up the pages of the paper using the old ‘hot metal’ technique, Mr Bradshaw became deputy manager of the keyboard department, and then made the move into sports reporting in 1990.
As well as interviewing famous sports stars such as footballers Ian Rush and Peter Osgood, cricketer Angus Fraser and snooker world champion Dennis Taylor, Mr Bradshaw also reported for the JEP from Island Games in the Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Rhodes.
Although he covered a large range of sports, football has been Mr Bradshaw’s leading sporting passion, and he was well-known for his skills as a match official for 30 years – this included refereeing two Muratti semi-final matches in Alderney.
Describing his time at the JEP, he said: ‘It’s been a most enjoyable nearly 48 years inside the building and four years delivering papers.
‘I’ve always tried to do my best and hopefully that’s come out in the articles I’ve written.
‘I’m going to miss the cameraderie round the office and have worked with a lot of great people and have had a lot of support. I would like to thank everyone I’ve worked with.’
Mr Bradshaw and his wife, Jenny, have two sons, Darren – a fellow employee at the JEP – and Lee. The couple have five grandchildren, who will get to spend a bit more time with their grandfather at weekends now that he will not be on duty at various sporting locations.
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