Journalism students net major exclusive

Revelations from former football referee go national

Two sports journalism students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have scooped the national media after carrying out an exclusive interview with a former football referee.

Top official Eddie Wolstenholme spoke to Tom Mortlock and George Hodgson, Year 2 BA (Hons) Sports Journalism students, about the incident when he ‘died for 100 seconds’ before a Premier League match

The two students posted their interview with Eddie on UCLan Live, a website where budding journalists and students post their stories.

It was the first time the former Premier League referee had been interviewed on his collapse that occurred before Burnley faced Newcastle United at Turf Moor back in November 2018, a game that the 64-year-old was working on as a referee coach.

The two students were astonished to find that once their article had gone live, national media such as BBC Sport and the Daily Mail, picked up on the story. Many local media outlets, including the Lancashire Post and Blackpool Gazette, also ran the news.

“It’s fair to say neither of us expected our work to gain the publicity it did. It was surreal to see the BBC, The Sun and some other national press picking up the story, as well as making a double page spread in the Lancashire Post.”

Tom Mortlock

“It gave us both a taste of what it could be like to do this for a living and we were both delighted that so many people got to read Eddie’s story as well as our work.”

George Hodgson

The students were welcomed to Eddie’s home in Blackburn where they conducted the interview and filmed for a TV package to go alongside their article.

Words by Euan Holden

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