Posted: October 12th, 2015
Occasionally the old chums’ Mirror telegraph lets us down, and it’s sad to say that we heard only recently that author and Daily Mirror journalist BOB RODNEY (real name Robert Rodrigo) died on June 29 (2015), aged 87.
Bob was born in 1928 and enjoyed a long career, from 1946, as a reporter and sub-editor dealing with news and sport. In later years he was the manager of the Daily Mirror Punters Club. He was also a golf writer, PR, press officer, and author of 12 books. He devised the Daily Mirror Racing Diary which he continued to produce until 2011.
He was very proud of his longevity in journalism, and in tribute we are pleased to reproduce his story from Mirror Pensioner August, 2011. Under the headline “Am I the longest-serving man from the Mirror?” he asked:
DOES any current Mirror Pensioner have a longer association with the paper than I have? From the time I was 12, I used to “assist” my father, also named Robert Rodrigo and also a user of the family pen-name of Bob Rodney. He was Newmarket correspondent (which meant, mostly, writing about racing) for a number of newspapers and agencies, including the Daily Mirror.
My job generally was to write different versions of stories he had unearthed, especially at the various bloodstock sales which took place regularly at Tattersalls Newmarket sales ring.
Three days after the Second World War broke out father joined the Army, and when it became clear that the “war wasn’t going to be over by Christmas”, I began to transmit some of the information which was still coming in from his sources.
Probably the best story I sent to the Mirror then was about the woman Army driver who managed to make contact with the string of horses trained by Frank Butters, and the injured Hyder Ali, which was the Aga Khan’s chief hope of winning the wartime Derby of that year.
In April 1946, when I was about to be called up for National Service, I wrote to the Mirror asking whether I might send them news items that weren’t contravening any laws. Luckily for me news editor Robert Connell replied he would “always be glad to consider them”.
Call it 73 years of working for the Mirror – as of this year – I have again provided the copy for the Daily Mirror Racing Diary. – Robert Rodrigo (aka Bob Rodney)
Report and picture from FRANK THORNE
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