Born on 14 January, 1932, Ian Wooldridge was educated at Brockenhurst Grammar School. Despite leaving with just two O-levels in English and Art, he went on to become the most prestigious sports journalist of his era – if not of all time. His first job was with the New Milton Advertiser, but his talent saw him swiftly moving on to greater things and after spells at the Bournemouth Times, the News Chronicle and Sunday Dispatch, he found his spiritual home at the Daily Mail in 1961 where he remained until his death in 2007.
The accolades to his prodigious talent are seemingly endless: winner of the British Press Awards’ Columnist of the Year in 1975 and 1976; four times winner of Sportswriter of the Year Award- 1972, 1974, 1981 and 1989; Sports Council Sportswriter of the Year in 1987, 1988 and 1996; and the Sports Council’s Sports Feature Writer of the Year in 1991 and 1997. In 2006 he won the London Press Club’s Edgar Wallace Award for his lifetime’s contribution to journalism.
As well as his articles he made television documentaries for the BBC, and wrote six books: Cricket, Lovely Cricket (1963); Mary P with Mary Peters (1974); MCC: the Autobiography of a Cricketer with Colin Cowdrey (1976); The Best of Wooldridge (1978); Travelling Reserve (1982); and Sport in the Eighties (1989).
He married married twice – to Veronica Churcher in 1957 with whom he had three sons, and then to Sarah Chappell Lourenço in 1980, his wife for the rest of his life.