Sports writer Mike Ward, H’69 dies

From the Birmingham Mail

Picture from the Birmingham Mail, shows Mike in earlier years with his 2 children

Picture from the Birmingham Mail, shows Mike in earlier years with his two children, Olivia and Henry

Former Birmingham Post sports reporter Mike Ward, who has died at the age of 65, was an “old school journalist” even among old school journalists.

He was a fine writer who never shirked the often thankless task of extracting proper, quotable responses from those reluctant to answer questions.

Two years of army service back home in his native Rhodesia had prepared him to encounter opponents a lot more awkward than he ever had to deal with in print, here in the Midlands, where he eventually made his home.

Born on February 22, 1951, in Kwekwe, he was educated at Falcon College in Bulawayo and the University of Rhodesia, before rising to serve as a platoon commander in the Rhodesian Army.

He served alongside former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar in the years just before Robert Mugabe came to power in 1980 in what had become Zimbabwe.

After starting his journalistic career at the Rhodesia Herald, his first newspaper when he came to England was the Hereford Times, before long-time native friend and squash partner Rob Shay got him a job at the Birmingham Post in 1977.

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