SPORTS editor Mark Edwards leaves the Oxford Mail today after almost 21 years.

The 40-year-old joined in January 1999 and was appointed head of the sports desk in October 2006.

Edwards cites two Oxford United promotions and three Wembley appearances among his highlights, as well as Shipton-under-Wychwood’s cricketers twice winning at Lord’s.

“I have been incredibly fortunate to have enjoyed some great times,” he said.

“In particular, being at the heart of our Oxford United coverage for more than 20 years has been a real privilege.”

He added: “I have been involved in producing more than 30 supplements, but none gave me more pleasure than our 125-year anniversary magazine.

“For the team behind that to be rewarded with a prestigious industry award only last month was immensely satisfying.”

Edwards leaves with many other fond memories of his two decades at the paper.

“It was such a thrill to follow Shipton’s exploits in the National Village Cup and twice cover them winning at Lord’s,” he said.

“And being heavily involved in the Oxfordshire Sports Awards and seeing that event grow is also a highlight.

“As part of that, I was fortunate to spend a morning with Sir Roger Bannister which was something I will never forget.

“I have got to know so many great people, worked with some tremendously talented journalists and have so many fond memories.”