In the same way that football shirt numbers are occasionally 'retired' by their clubs because it's felt no-one can replace their most recent occupant, no-one is going to be asked to fill the boots of a “much-loved” sports columnist in The Scotsman, following his retirement.
Ian Wood signed off from his Slice of Life column on Monday. The former sports editor at the paper has been penning the weekly column for 24 years. He has been with The Scotsman since 1954 and stopped doing football match reports around ten years ago, as he began to enjoy his semi-retirement. Slice of Life often was about his first sporting love: golf.
As a tribute, The Scotsman is to devote the space that would have been otherwise taken up by Slice of Life this coming Monday with some of the many letters received from well-wishers, many of them genuinely distraught on hearing of Wood's stepping down. There have been various calls for the best of his columns to be published in book form.
Donald Walker, sports editor, told allmediascotland: “Sadly, the departure of the much-loved Ian Wood marks the end of an era for the sports pages of The Scotsman and for at least a generation of loyal readers, who would turn first of all to the back page of our section every Monday to ease them gently into the new week.
“During one turbulent spell in the newspaper's past, Ian dared to take a holiday, meaning there was no column. I lifted the phone to an irate reader who demanded: 'What have you done with him? Reinstate him at once!'
“There are not many humorist columnists left in the business, and we will all miss Ian's touch. He goes with our very best wishes as we let him retire properly at last.”