New goal in life for football editor

Keith Perry, currently football editor at the Birmingham Mail, is returning to his former newspaper – the Coventry Telegraph – as editor. He succeeds Alun Thorne, who departed the Telegraph last autumn in order to take up a role in the public relations industry.

Keith, who takes over on February 2, was sports editor at Coventry until he moved to the Birmingham Mail just a few months ago.


Marc Reeves, who is editor-in-chief of Trinity Mirror operations in the Midlands, said that Keith had been selected from a “very strong” list of candidates who had applied for the position.

“Keith has the drive and vision to keep the Telegraph at the centre of people’s lives in Coventry,” he added.

A former staffer on the Derby Telegraph, Leicester Mercury and Sunday Mercury, Keith commented: “I am delighted to be returning to the Coventry Telegraph as editor. I know that it is a very talented newsroom and I am looking forward to working with the team there to accelerate our audience growth.

“I will be sad to leave the Birmingham Mail, but the football department is now well placed to build on the success we have achieved in the last few months.”

Legendary crime reporter was award-winning author

Tributes have been paid to ex-Press Club member Harry Hawkes following the death of the legendary Birmingham Post & Mail crime writer, a journalist who covered many of the Midlands' biggest stories.

Harry, who was 86, died at a care home, following a long illness.

Harry Hawkes and his wife, Eunice

Harry was a journalist in Birmingham for 43 years and is best remembered for his role as crime correspondent, with his catalogue of high-profile assignments including the Cannock Chase Murders and the hunt for Black Panther Donald Neilson.

Harry, who was from Kenilworth, wrote books about both cases and his 1978 work, Capture of the BlackPanther, won the coveted Crime Writers' Association silver dagger award. Murder on the A34 was hailed as the definitive background piece on the capture of child killer Raymond Leslie Morris.

When asked if he had made money from his books, Harry joked: "No, I have discovered crime does not pay."

His widow, Eunice, said: "I am very proud of what he achieved. He was totally committed to his job - he lived for it."

The last published piece by Harry appeared in the Birmingham Post - an article commissioned following the 2011 death of Neilson.

Former Birmingham Mail deputy editor Tony Dickens said: "He was an old-time pro, very thorough. He was a great mentor to those younger reporters."

Press Club vice-chairman Fred Bromwich, who worked with Harry on both the Mail andPost, said: "I remember him very fondly. He was a real pro. As far as his crime correspondent job went, he was the ultimate in the Midlands and far beyond.

"His list of contacts could not be bettered. He was a fantastic colleague to work with and a real character."

Outside work, Harry was an avid collector, and wrote an antiques column for the Post.

He was particularly proud of his large collection of old typewriters. "We must have about 100. There’s a loft full of them," added Eunice.

Harry is also survived by three children and three grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have yet to be finalised.

Media pays its respect to French victims of terrorism

Birmingham Press Club members and representatives of Midlands media, including Birmingham Mail editor-in-chief Marc Reeves and Birmingham Post editor Stacey Barnfield, were amongst hundreds of people who tonight (January 8) took part in a silent vigil for victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. The event was organised by Zoe Pelletier, a French student of criminology at Birmingham City University

Here, Birmingham Mail Communities Editor Paul Fulford gives his view on an outrage that has shocked the world.

Press Club members join in the Victoria Square vigilHelena Randall and Phil Brown show their support

"Tonight’s vigil in Victoria Square, Birmingham, is about respect, not hatred.

It is about respecting and honouring the victims of the terrible, cowardly shooting in Paris and respecting everything that those who died stood for – freedom, democracy, decency and tolerance.

Those are the foundations on which the civilised West was built – and the values that the bloodthirsty fanatics of Islam’s wild fringe despise for they threaten their backward, domineering world-view.

The world was shocked and outraged by yesterday’s cold-blooded, cruel massacre and the vast majority of Muslims were as outraged by the Charles Hebdo massacre as those not of their faith.

So do not fall into the trap of despising Islam because of the savagery of a minority who claim to represent the religion.

To do so would be to create the division that extremists seek between communities to further their perverted aims.

We must be steadfast in protecting our liberties by hunting down and punishing the monsters who threaten them, but equally steadfast in recognising they are unrepresentative of their religion.

Meanwhile, we send out deepest sympathies to the loved ones of those who perished in Paris.