Honour for broadcasting “champion”

Gary Newbon.jpg

One of Birmingham's most recognisable faces in sports broadcasting has received an MBE in the New Year's Honours for services to media, sport and charity.

Gary Newbon has been the face and voice of sport in the West Midlands for half a century, having enjoyed a lengthy career with ITV Sport and ITV Central.

During his career, the 73 year old has covered sports as diverse as football, darts and horse racing and rose to the role of head of ITV Sport.

His citation described him as "a champion of women working in sport" who had nurtured a number of women, and men, who had gone on to have careers in sport broadcasting.

In 1981, he took on the executive post of controller of sport (West Midlands) alongside his roles on the nightly Central Sport bulletins and weekend Star Soccer shows.

He also worked on seven World Cups, three Olympic Games, international and club football and at ringside for major boxing events for ITV Sport.

After retiring from Central, he immediately stepped into a new role with Sky Sports football, boxing, greyhound racing and sporting nostalgia shows.

He also set up his own television production company and more recently has started training would-be television reporters and presenters.

Away from the microphone, Gary is Midlands President of the Lord's Taverners  - the official charity for recreational cricket - and hosts an annual Christmas fundraising lunch. He is also national patron of charity Deafblind UK and an honorary barker of the Variety Club of Great Britain.

Gary, who lives in Solihull, started his career as a junior reporter in his home town of Cambridge before becoming a freelance Fleet Street journalist. His TV career began when he joined Westward TV in the 1960s.