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TUESDAY 27  FEBRUARY 2024

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Holy cow! That looks like Jimmy Hill

By GEORGE DEARSLEY

One of the joys of working on a red-top tabloid was telephoning a celebrity for a random comment on a topical news story.


It could be the invention of a self-driving car (a novelty back in the 1980s) or the price of fish. A funny comment from a celeb always enlivened the copy.


But it was with slight trepidation that I called ex-footballer and pundit Jimmy Hill at home to ask what he thought about his face on the side of a cow.


Luckily for me, Jimmy was not only a thoroughly genial bloke and usually media-friendly, he’d also had a good few glasses of Chablis.


It took a couple of goes for me to get him to comprehend the story I was writing.


“What? What? He kept saying, glasses clinking in the background.


But in the end, good as gold, he came up with a quote which I obviously improved before submitting my copy.


In 2018, three years after his death, Jimmy’s face also appeared in a hotel bathrobe, pictured,  as The Sun gleefully explained.


As old hand chief sub-editor Andy Carson once told me: “There are no new stories, George they just change the names.”

Or the faces.


Jimmy Hill died aged 87 in 2015.


22 January 2024