Final round for newspaper legend Mick after 16 years on the job

Mick Spurgeon is retiring from News Direct after 16 years working as a van driver. Picture: Danielle

Mick Spurgeon is retiring from News Direct after 16 years working as a van driver. - Credit: Danielle Booden

An 82-year-old delivery driver has hung up his paper bag after nearly 17 years of posting copies of the Evening News to homes across Norwich.

Mick Spurgeon, who lives in South Park Avenue, had originally intended to retire in his 60s after decades of work as a heavy goods vehicle driver. 

But after seeing an advert for News Direct in the paper, Mr Spurgeon decided that he wasn't ready to put his feet up for good.

He has since been delivering thousands of copies of the Evening News across the city, arriving at the Hall Road premises at 4.30am to collect the papers for his round each day.

Mick Spurgeon is retiring from News Direct after 16 years working as a van driver. Picture: Danielle

Mick Spurgeon is retiring from News Direct after more than 16 years working as a delivery driver. - Credit: Danielle Booden

But he has now revealed his final delivery day will be on Christmas Eve.

"I only expected to do a couple of years but I have ended up being here for over 16," Mr Spurgeon said.

"You meet all sorts on the rounds. I have been walking up one garden path for nearly 17 years and have never seen the people who live there.

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"I have met some lovely people too. There is one chap who I have to give the weather forecast to every morning before he goes out." 

Mr Spurgeon moved to Norwich from Blackburn as a child, and has lived in the city ever since, aside from spending two years serving in the Cyprus conflict in the mid-1950s.

Mick Spurgeon is retiring from News Direct after 16 years working as a van driver. Picture: Danielle

Mick Spurgeon, 82, is retiring from News Direct after 16 years working as a van driver - Credit: Danielle Booden

He typically finishes his deliveries at 7am.

"I am not one for sitting at home, watching TV and rotting away," Mr Spurgeon said.

"The round sets me up for the rest of the day and it keeps me fit." 

Mick Spurgeon is retiring from News Direct after 16 years working as a van driver. Picture: Danielle

Mick Spurgeon is retiring from News Direct on Christmas Eve - Credit: Danielle Booden

Before payments were transferred online, Mr Spurgeon also used to drop off the wages for the paperboys and girls.

He recalled delivering a paper to a retired army officer in Corie Road several years ago but ended up recovering the officer's wife after she had fallen out of bed and was wedged between the wall. 

Another unexpected moment came when Mr Spurgeon was convinced he had seen a ghost on his round at Cringleford Hall. 

News Direct off Hall Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden

News Direct, which is located just off Hall Road in Norwich - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Spurgeon's boss Tony Smith, co-owner of News Direct, said: "Mick is so reliable and conscientious. We never had any problems with him. He is just a nice guy who is very well-liked."

Evening News says: Thank you Mick!  

What a star Mick is.  

For more than 16 years the Evening newsman has delivered this fine paper with not only a smile but even a weather update or two. 

Come rain or shine he has been on the doorstep of families across Norwich and his hard work has kept people in the loop about what is happening here in the Fine City and further afield.  

And after the tumultuous few years this country has had, it’s never been more important for people to feel connected with the outside world.  

Not only has Mick played a part in helping those who might be facing isolation feel like a part of their communities, he has been a regular, happy face checking in on potentially vulnerable people.  

His retirement is well-earned but the whole team at the Evening News will be sad to see him go.  

Thanks for everything Mick! 

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