The funeral for Mike will take place at Nuneaton Crematorium on Thursday, May 28th at 10.30...
It was with deep sadness that Coventry City Football Club reported last week that Mike Dale – a former journalist, programme writer and ‘voice of Clubcall’ – passed away, aged 77.
The funeral will take place at Nuneaton Crematorium on Thursday, May 28, at 10.30.
“Mike was fairly unique,” says Lee Corden, a friend and colleague of Mike’s at Coventry News Service and Advent Communications. “I say that because I know it would bring a wry smile to his face – possibly a grimace!
“He was always the first to point out that something was either unique or it wasn’t. He was a real guardian of the English language and was so quick-witted that it kept me on my toes as a young writer learning my trade.
“Mike was never short of a joke or phrase – many of which I still use nearly a decade after he retired.
“’You never lose it’, he would declare, after firing a soft ball into an imaginary net in the office. ‘You know they sell them in shops don’t you?’, was another favourite when you asked if a sweet was going spare on his desk.
“He just had a way with people that drew out a smile and laugh.
“His personality was perfect for the job of sports journalist because it made players, managers and staff comfortable and they’d open up to give him a ‘good line’ for the programme or whichever paper he was writing for at the time.”
Mike began his media career as a tea-boy with the Nuneaton Tribune before working for the Leicester Mercury, eventually joining Coventry News Service (CNS) in the city.
“Joining CNS meant Mike wrote about the Sky Blues – as well as Coventry Rugby Club – for just about every national news outlet in the country. He also commentated for several radio stations and always ‘said what he saw’.
“Everyone I have spoken to in the last few days has remembered Mike with great fondness – someone synonymous with the old press box at Highfield Road and someone always ready to crack the first joke to break the ice!”
Steve Ogrizovic, Coventry City’s record appearance holder and now goalkeeping coach, knew Mike for 30 years.
He said: “Mike was not only a good and very trustworthy journalist but he was also a genuinely nice man. We used to chat for a long time about sports of all kinds, and he certainly had a keen interest in cricket. I remember the seasons that Aussie John Filan was here and there was plenty of cricket banter flying around!
“Working with the media is a two-way process and while Mike was always very honest in his appraisals, he was always very straight which is why he had such a good relationship with the players and staff over such a long period of time.
“I was really saddened to hear of his death, and I know that will be echoed by all the players and staff he worked with over the years.”
Mike is survived by wife Diane, children Simon, Helen, Nicky and James, and grandchildren.