|Phil, fifth from left on the bottom row, with Howden colleagues|
|Charles Griffin's caricature|
Other gifts included an inscribed lighter from one of his former trainees Laura Wileman, a ball made of elastic bands to remind him of when they used to play late night indoor cricket matches in the Mirror newsroom, enough wine to start a business, books and Bose headphones.
I first met Phil when he joined PA Training a decade or so ago. I was able to use him as a senior consultant - doing production and training work, particularly in Ireland - and we became good friends.
|Phil receives gifts at his desk|
Phil was a great newspaper production man - but he was also an excellent trainer. It is a testament to his popularity and mentoring skills that his many leaving parties were attended by dozens of people less than half his age - many of them his former trainees. I wish him a long and happy retirement - though I suspect he won’t be putting his feet up just yet.