Revered Melbourne sports journalist Ron Reed dies06/03/2022
Sports journalist Ron Reed, an admired figure in press boxes around the world for decades and a cherished voice on sport in Melbourne, has died. He was 74.
Ron Reed worked in daily newspapers for more than half a century.
Reed was a gun reporter, sports editor and columnist who covered cricket and football and was a veteran of many Olympic and Commonwealth Games, Tours de France, tennis grand slams and Melbourne Cups.
He was twice sports editor of Melbourne’s evening newspaper, The Herald, and for 26 years wrote with authority and insight across sport for the Herald Sun, until his retirement in 2016.
Through more than half a century in journalism, he was known for his extensive knowledge of sport and its people, and respected for his commentary, which was forthright but never sensational. He won the Australian Sports Commission’s lifetime achievement award in 2014 and was Sportswriter of the Year in 1998.
Reed, known to all as “the Hound”, was also a regular guest at luncheons hosted by Melbourne’s sporting institutions and while he could appear gruff in manner, he was a generous companion who, if asked, would share stories from his time as a touring cricket correspondent.
Reed was in Colombo for the 1996 Cricket World Cup when suicide bombers set off a deadly explosion near his hotel, prompting Reed to call the Australian Cricket Board and advise them not to travel there.
“I rang the Herald Sun first and Cricket Australia second and the Aussies never did arrive,” he wrote in his retirement column for the Herald Sun. “The angry Sri Lankans retaliated by beating them in the final in Pakistan.”
Reed was also an author of eight books, ranging in subject from Australian Test cricket captain Pat Cummins to a father-son memoir of war and sport.
His advice to aspiring journalists, as told to a journalism student in an interview for La Trobe University magazine Upstart, was typically blunt.
“Turn up. Don’t sit in the office waiting for the phone to ring, you’ve got to go places,” Reed said. “If you don’t go, you don’t meet people, you don’t hear what’s going on. Just get to the sport and watch it.”
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