The retirement of three stalwarts of the Star means coverage of your favourite teams is set for a fresh start in your bigger and brighter sports pages
Danny Hall, sports reporter and Grass Roots correspondent
“I started writing for The Star’s sports pages when I was 16, and still an A-Level student at college. I continued throughout my college and university life as a freelancer, before joining as a permanent member of the sports desk earlier this year.
“Articles I wrote for the The Star’s ‘Grass Roots’ pullout led to me being named the 2011 ‘Weekly Sports Journalist of the Year’ at the Regional Press Awards, and GrassRoots editor Trevor Cook and I remain committed to ensuring that the wide range of amateur sport in our area all gets its fair share of coverage.
“The Star is fully embracing the digital world, and the sports desk remain committed to producing the best coverage around, both in-paper and online through stories, blogs and videos – and we hope you can join us every step of the way.”
Paul Davis, Rotherham United reporter and Deputy Sports Editor
“Les Payne has gone. I am here. Boy, do I have big shoes to fill. Everyone I have met on the Millers beat so far has told me that.
“But Les and I have been close friends for 30 years and I’ve learned from the great man, as well having more than a few ideas of my own.
“I covered the Millers as a callow teenager in the days of George Kerr and Norman Hunter, before the pursuit of my own sporting ambitions ruled out sustained weekend work, and it feels so good to be back.
“My family and I are home and away Millers anyway so you could say I’m living the dream. I’m a daily Millers presence on Twitter and The Star’s website and I’m a regular on fans’ online forums, keeping the club’s supporters abreast of all the latest happenings and breaking news.
“I love how fast we can reach The Star’s followers through social media, but I still love nothing more than getting a great Steve Evans or Tony Stewart interview in the bag and then sitting down to write a two-page feature for the paper itself.
“I’ll give everything to continuing The Star’s tradition of quality coverage of our club.”
Trevor Cook, Grass Roots Editor
Bob Westerdale said: “Trevor has one of the most important roles on the Sheffield Sports desk. He cultivates contacts within local sport at all levels and edits 16 pages of superb GrassRoots coverage in a free pull-out section in Friday’s Star, every week.
“Trevor’s ideal ‘Roots supplement contains every sport he can lay his hands on – including greyhound racing (GrassRoots recently had a dog named after it.) He is an experienced hand, has an unrivalled knowledge of all areas of South Yorkshire and lends invaluable support to The Star’s print and digital output.”
Dominick Howson, Sheffield Wednesday reporter
“As sad I was to see Paul Thompson retire after 34 years of reporting on Sheffield Wednesday for The Star, it is great opportunity for me to cover a wonderful football club inside out.
Ever since the age of 16, I have always wanted to write and report on my own team and they don’t come much bigger than the Owls.
“I served my apprenticeship at the Yorkshire Evening Post and Press Association in Howden before moving to The Star in October 2009.
“It’s been great learning off experienced journalists such as Paul, Bob Westerdale and Les Payne.
“I fully recognise it is a great challenge covering Wednesday, one of the founding members of the Premier League.
“It quickly emerged on my first day in the job that there was a strong possibility they would be taken over and that’s exactly what happened a week later!
“It is up to me to maintain Paul’s fine work and, where I can, enhance it. In the new digital era, I will look to give our coverage a young, fresh perspective, informing the fans of all the latest developments from S6.”
James Shield, Sheffield United reporter
“The job has changed an awful lot in a relatively short space of time.
“I’m still some way off my pension but remember when the internet was a novelty rather than an essential tool which, to a large extent, has changed the face of journalism.
“Despite all the changes and the new ways in which we deliver news on our teams it still all boils down to the story. Breaking them and then trying to give some insight into what is going on.
“It’s a fast paced world and the demands and challenges are totally different now with social media and rolling news channels but what hasn’t changed are the basic tenets of the profession and The Star in all its forms will continue to deliver what the fans want to know.”
Chris Holt, Sports Reporter
“I worked for Belfast Telegraph for seven years as a Sports Journalist, covering mostly football, (my boyhood club Glentoran) and the Northern Ireland international team, among many other things
“I moved to Sheffield, where my wife is from, in September 2012 , to work in the design/sub-editing hub before moving onto The Star to work on the sports team.
“My main roles here will be in planning, ‘making things look nice’ in print and online, covering general sports, writing sports features and giving plenty of support to all of my colleagues on busier football match days.”
Liam Hoden, Sports Reporter
“I started at South Yorkshire Times in August 2007 as trainee news and sports reporter then moved over to Doncaster Free Press in November 2009 as a full time sports reporter while also continuing to write for the South Yorkshire Times.
“Eventually I became involved in the sports section of the Epworth Belles and Selby Times. I began covering Doncaster Rovers along with Free Press colleague Paul Goodwin for The Star in January 2013 following the retirement of long-time reporter Steve Hossack, while continuing with our previous roles.
“I left the Free Press at beginning of June 2014 to join The Star to give general sport coverage and production with particular focus on expanding online coverage and acting as second to Dom Howson on Sheffield Wednesday.”