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Legendary radio voice given top civic honour

Posted onPosted on 10th Jun

The managing director of Mansfield 103.2 radio station, Tony Delahunty, has been awarded Ashfield District Council’s highest honour — the Freedom of the District.

He received the honour at the council’s annual meeting, where his ‘remarkable contribution to Ashfield’ over the past 25 years was highlighted.

Tony has worked at Mansfield 103.2 since its launch in 1999, and had a long career in radio.

Beginning his career as a sports journalist, he is well known for his career defining and harrowing live broadcasts at both the Bradford and Hillsborough football disasters.

Awards were also presented to the council’s town centres and markets manager, Trevor Middleton, who has completed 30 years’ service, and Rachel Madden, who has served 25 years continuously as a councillor.

Council leader Jason Zadrozny, who was joined by the new chairman, Coun Arnie Hankin, to hand out the awards, said: “It was amazing to mark the long service of three people who have given an enormous amount to our district.

“Tony has been the voice of Ashfield for decades. Mansfield 103.2 is a major part of community life and Tony and his team have done so much we should be thankful for.

“His work, especially during the pandemic, was remarkable as he broadcast vital health messages throughout our region.

“Thanks to Tony and his team’s work, lives were saved. We are delighted to mark Tony’s valuable contribution through the highest honour we can bestow.”

Tony said when he first came to Mansfield he expected to be here for just three months and then retire.

More than 25 years later he is reflecting on how he decided to stay and make a difference in Mansfield and Ashfield.

“One of the first things I did when I arrived in Mansfield was to go and see Stewart Rickersey, then managing director at the Chad newspaper, who was the absolute icon of media in the area.

“Stewart, one of the founders of the News Journal, told me he would be a fierce competitor, but he also inspired me with how he genuinely loved the town and wanted it to do well.

“We were competitive, but also became good friends. Recently I spoke at an event and Stewart’s wife, Sharon, was the first to tell say well done — that was really touching.

“That hopefully just shows how competitive rivals with the same positive intentions can really benefit a town.”