Farewell to Cyril: The end of an era

Cyril was Yorkshire Regional Newspapers' unsung hero in 2003.

Cyril was Yorkshire Regional Newspapers' unsung hero in 2003.

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The man known all around town as ‘Mr Bridlington Sport’ has finally taken a well-earned retirement after more than two decades of work at the Free Press.

Our sports coverage will never be the same again without Cyril Skinner, and the town’s sporting community have joined his colleagues and former work-mates in paying tribute to his incredible work.

Emmerdale stars presented Cyril with his Outstanding Contribution award at the Yorkshire and Humber Media Awards.

Emmerdale stars presented Cyril with his Outstanding Contribution award at the Yorkshire and Humber Media Awards.

Gordy Morrice, Bridlington rugby club’s outgoing chairman said: “Cyril epitomises sport in Bridlington. He is so well known around the town in all sport areas as Mr Free Press Sports.

“His column will be missed by all readers. He is a truly great and popular gentleman, liked by all in Bridlington who have had the pleasure of meeting up with him “

Ken Rennoldson from Sewerby Cricket Club added: “His ‘retirement’ is well deserved and he will be missed by many people in sporting circles.

“No more telephoned polite reminders of inconsistencies in reports.”

Cyril with former darts world champion Bob Anderson.

Cyril with former darts world champion Bob Anderson.

Norman Lawry, secretary of Bridlington and District Evening Cricket League, said: “Our very grateful thanks for all his work and commitment to local sport, particularly cricket. The Bridlington Free Press will not be the same without him.”

Golfer Alex Belt said on Twitter: “The man is a legend. Thank you Cyril for the last 20 years of support.”

Badminton league organiser Paul Robinson said: “Cyril is a true legend of local sport writing. I remember years ago when I started writing badminton write ups, Cyril would ring me up for the first month, correcting me on my spelling of some player’s names and my grammar.

“I am not sure if my grammar improved or Cyril just lost heart with me and edited my article. He is an inspiration as a man and sports writer.”

Cyril gets his hands on the FA Vase, won by Bridlington Town in 1993.

Cyril gets his hands on the FA Vase, won by Bridlington Town in 1993.

Driffield and District Football League secretary Norman Harris added: “I have know Cyril for many years and always found him to be a true gentleman and he has always been a great ambassador for local football.”

Bridlington Town chairman Peter Smurthwaite added his best wishes.

He said: “I am very sorry to hear that Cyril has eventually decided to retire as sports reporter of the Bridlington Free Press.

“I have known Cyril for the last 15 years since I first joined Bridlington Town AFC and in all that time he has always published articles I have sent to him with regard to the football club.

“He has been a person I could always trust when I told him some information was ‘off the record’ that is how it would stay.

“He has always been a very loyal and dedicated supporter of the club and has helped with a group of his colleagues by sponsoring games on a regular basis.

“He will always be welcome as a supporter of the club. He has a wealth of contacts and knowledge of all sports that involved his beloved adopted home town of Bridlington.

“Cyril is a true sporting gentleman and on behalf of everyone connected with Bridlington Town AFC we wish him a very happy retirement and personally thank him for all the help he has given me in recent years.

Bridlington Golf Club’s director of golf Anthony Howarth said: “We would like to wish Cyril a happy retirement and to say a big thank you for all his enthusiastic support of golf in Bridlington over the years.

“He is most definitely a unique character and will be sadly missed.”

Jim Crow, Bridlington Cricket Club secretary, said: “A great guy, always pleasant and helpful, and nothing was ever too much trouble. He has done a magnificent job for sport in the local area and will be almost irreplacable.”

Away from the sporting community, local dignitaries have added their messages to recognise the work Cyril has done for the town.

The new mayor of Bridlington Coun John Copsey said: “Cyril is one hell of a nice guy and has been the backbone of sports in Bridlington for years.

“With his enthusiasm, encouragement and passion at all levels he as inspired many. I wish him well and hope he gets the send-off he deserves.”

The new deputy mayor Coun Liam Dealtry added: “He was always a friendly voice on the phone and his love of sport ensured his knowledge knew no bounds.”