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Martin Cleary 50 Years Celebration

On May 12, 2023, Martin Cleary hit 50 years of reporting on the local sports scene. Martin has told roughly 10,000 stories from the grassroots up to the Olympic level in that time, mostly for the Ottawa Citizen, and in recent years, for the Ottawa Sports Pages.

Martin’s dedication to the local amateur sports beat is simply unmatched. His passion, his storytelling prowess and his attention to detail have set the standard for excellence in the field, and his articles have made an impact on innumerable athletes and sports figures in our community.

Read Martin’s High Achievers column for his reflections on the milestone:
MARTIN CLEARY: My half-century of Ottawa amateur sports storytelling

On May 12, a lunchtime celebration was held at the RA Centre to mark Martin’s 50 Years of reporting on local sports news. Photographers Mike Carroccetto and Wayne Cuddington graciously jumped into duty to capture some images from the day:

Below, we’ve reposted our livestream of the formal portion of the event, featuring speeches by past Ottawa Citizen publisher Russell Mills, five-time Paralympian Todd Nicholson, Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, and of course, Martin.

Watch our video tribute looking back on Martin’s 50 years career below:

Join us for a celebration of Martin Cleary’s 50 Years of reporting on local sports news!

Friday, May 12, 2023
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Dr.
Clark Hall (West Entrance)

Light lunch to be served from 11:30-12:30. Formal remarks begin at 12:30. This is a free public event. Donations to the Ottawa Sports Pages Fund to support local sports journalism are encouraged.

Click Below to Sign our Online Guestbook for Martin Cleary’s 50 Years of Local Sports Reporting!

Sign our Online Guestbook for Martin Cleary's 50 Years of Local Sports Reporting!

Share your message below.
21 entries.
Michael O’Byrne wrote on May 20, 2023
Sorry I couldn’t be there Martin. I was coaching a sport you’ve written a lot about over the years - LL Baseball. In the late 90’s you wrote an article about my son throwing a no hitter is a District final. You have no idea how thrilled he and his parents were to see his name in the paper. We still have the article on our mantle. You’ve made many thousands of families feel the same way. Thanks for all you’ve done. Don’t stop now - there’s still a lot of great stories to tell. Congratulations my friend.
Lynn Nightingale wrote on May 15, 2023
Martin...I am so sorry I wasn't able to join you to celebrate your 50 years of dedication to the Ottawa and area amateur sport scene. Your special attention to the athletes that work so hard is so very appreciated. Scary that I was one of those athletes 50 years ago! 😉 Thanks for all you do!
Dave McMahon and Lise Meloche wrote on May 10, 2023
Thank you so much Martin for everything that you have done for the sporting community and athletes throughout the years. We celebrate your lifetime achievement!
Doug Fischer wrote on May 9, 2023
Well done, Martin. This is a well-deserved celebration of a half century of fine sportswriting and dedication to the importance of local amateur sports.
Therese Brisson on behalf of Ed Champagne at Alpine Canada wrote on May 9, 2023
Congratulations Martin on an incredible 50 years of sports reporting. Your help to the Canadian Ski Association back in the days was so very much appreciated, especially by team manager Ed Champagne who sends his best and the Alpine team. Wishing you and family the very best in your next adventure.
Wayne Scanlan wrote on May 9, 2023
Congrats, Martin. It was a pleasure working with you at the Citizen all those years. Please slow down the sands of time. Going too fast.
Mike Milligan & Gary Mighton (former chairmen of The ACT Sports Awards Dinner) wrote on May 8, 2023
Congratulations Martin, Well done.
Your research & knowledge of Ottawa’s amateur athletes was greatly appreciated and enabled us to honour those athletes every year at The ACT Sports Awards Dinner. We couldn’t have done it without your help.
Many thanks & enjoy your retirement.
Peter Niedre wrote on May 7, 2023
Congratulations to 50 years Martin. You have dedicated so much time to covering, elevating and profiling amateur sport here in Ottawa. The sport community cannot thank you enough - club, high school, and university. Thank you so much for your dedication and commitment.
Sue Hylland wrote on May 6, 2023
Martin - I unfortunately cannot make your well deserved 50 years recognition event but wanted to make sure to send this brief note. Thank you for amplifying the many positive amateur sport stories, the community and local stories that no one else told. You have been an amazing reporter, with such high credibility and integrity in your work. Thank you for making a difference and for your dedication to youth and sport throughout Canada and right here at home in Ottawa. Way to go Martin!
Marsha Skuce wrote on May 2, 2023
Thanks Martin, for shining an encouraging spotlight on so many young people over the years. Your career has made a difference! Congrats on this celebration.
Alison Korn wrote on May 2, 2023
Congratulations Martin! Back in my rowing days, I admired your coverage of our team. You were always paying attention. Thanks for your dedication to sport and community.
Helen Cooper wrote on May 1, 2023
Martin, what a wonderful and impactful career! Thank you for the advocacy and excellent coverage of Track and Field over the years! Thank you! Wishing you good health and a happy, fulfilled retirement; so well deserved!!!
Helen Cooper
Andrew Cleary wrote on April 28, 2023
Congratulations on 50 years of incredible sports writing in Ottawa! You have made a difference in so many lives by providing voice and recognition to amateur sports. I’m thankful you are my dad, always kind, supportive and the best dad I could ask for.
Tony Lofaro wrote on April 24, 2023
One of the nicest guys I know and a good sports reporter to boot! Congratulations Martin. A well-deserved recognition.
Paula McLaughlin wrote on April 20, 2023
Congratulations, Martin, on 50 years of sports stories. Working with you at the Citizen always was a pleasure. You were knowledgeable and courteous -- both with your co-workers and the athletes you wrote about. This celebration is so deserved.
Laura Robin wrote on April 19, 2023
Kudos to you, Martin, for being such an all-round nice guy and contributing so much, for so many years.
Todd Nicholson MSC, PLY wrote on April 19, 2023
Your story telling has provided so many individuals with a platform to share passion, drive and reason for involvement within the community. You have always been able to raise that awareness of our athletes, coaches and entourage when it comes to our community. I know we have had the opportunity to meet and tell stories on many occasions throughout my career. One that I share with you. It’s true that if you surround yourself with the right people you can make some amazing things happen. You have done that throughout the last 50 years. Congratulations well deserved.
Wendy Warburton wrote on April 17, 2023
Thanks for all your kindness to a budding sports reporter way back in 1976-77. You were, and still are, a wonderful role model!!
John Sims wrote on April 15, 2023
Congratulations Martin on an incredible career in sports reporting! Your interest in local amateur and professional athletes has been outstanding and has delighted sports fans, friends and family for decades. As communications lead for Team Ontario at several Canada Games, I always noticed that you showed great interest in all athletes, whether they were just beginning their amateur careers or others who were already at the top of their game, you treated them with the same respect and enthusiasm in your reporting. All the best and enjoy your special day! Cheers, John
Ken Parker wrote on April 15, 2023
Congrats Martin. This is quite the milestone. I remember when you started reporting on the National Capital Marathon back in the good old days!

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