My first boss: Huw Turbervill, The Cricketer magazine editor

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The Cricketer magazine editor Huw Turbervill, right, with David Gower and Rob Key. Photo: Supplied
The Cricketer magazine editor Huw Turbervill, right, with David Gower and Rob Key. Photo: Supplied

I had grown up in Suffolk and played loads of cricket in the county where two teammates knew Tony Garnett, then sports editor of the East Anglian Daily Times. They told him I was desperate to be a sports journalist.

I had wanted to be one since I was six, having made newspapers and giving them out to my neighbours. Meanwhile, Tony was a legend in Ipswich and Suffolk and a proper old school journalist; he was dedicated and shrewd and looked at both sides of the argument and had some good contacts.

I wrote and wrote to Tony, who was the Ipswich Town correspondent for decades, and he eventually visited me in the pub where I was working to raise money to travel to the Ashes in 1994/95.

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He had a sandwich and a pint and put me on the spot by asking me a question about one of Ipswich Town’s opponents in the FA Cup that weekend. I guessed the player’s name and that was my initial test.

Having made the mistake of badgering him a bit too much for a while, he eventually got me to do some work in the office. What he really wanted was for someone to sit next to him, answer the phones, type in the greyhound cards, open letters and then when all that was done write some stories.

Vintage May 28th 1955 edition of The Cricketer magazine
The Cricketer magazine has been published since 1921. Photo: Getty

I eventually got it that he just wanted to be left alone when he was busy; we worked on our relationship — how to co-exist and so on — and we became pretty good friends. I never turned any assignment down and he gave me a tremendous stepping stone into journalism.

I later joined the sports desk of the Sunday Telegraph as a sub-editor under Jon Ryan, and did some cricket and football writing; the highlight was doing the news and quotes alongside Scyld Berry, his 'bag man'.

I joined The Cricketer magazine eight years ago as a sub-editor, before rapidly being upgraded to deputy editor. From 2016, I became managing editor working with editor Simon Hughes, before becoming editor myself in 2021.

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It’s much easier to retain existing readers than attract new ones in today’s print market. The magazine, which also now has a thriving digital arm, had done an amazing job at being stable when other print publications were going under (it had tried to be a bit too lifestyle and funky before I joined).

We went back to doing readers’ surveys and listened to what they want, which is lots of county, traditional and historical cricket. We do, however, pride ourselves on covering all cricket: recreational, schools and women’s cricket across the globe.

Yes, we have to cover The Hundred in some form but we write about it genuinely and offer an alternative in some way, given that a lot of the coverage is uber-positive.

The September issue of The Cricketer following a pulsating Ashes series. Photo: The Cricketer
The September issue of The Cricketer following a pulsating Ashes series. Photo: The Cricketer

Some people say ‘what do you write about in the winter?’ But there are thousands of things to write about across the year and I can’t see us running out of ideas any time soon.

I have had wonderful fun with the magazine, meeting my 1980s heroes (Graham Gooch is my hero), plus interviewing new stars like Jos Buttler and Mark Wood.

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It's my responsibility to get the magazine out every four weeks. It’s the job of my dreams and I would advise anyone wanting to achieve their goals to stick at it.

This job came along when I was 42 and I never gave up. You have to put up with plenty of hurdles to get where you want to go in this industry.

The September issue of The Cricketer is out now

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