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Media: Talk of the Trade: Donald's adieu

FIRST issues of newspapers may be collectors' items, but I've always been more attracted to last issues. There lies real poignancy, not to mention bitterness, bile and hints of scores unsettled.

The Observer last Sunday qualifies only in as much as it was the last under the old regime headed by Donald Trelford, editor for the past 18 years, and might have offered a tiny (or Tiny) footnote in newspaper history.

It didn't disappoint, either for students of media or of psychology. Mr Trelford reversed the normal journalistic battle lines by firing a salvo at his former deputy, Anthony Howard: 'As for his remark in the Spectator that nobody had the guts to stand up to Lonrho, Howard stood up all right: at full attention by his telephone whenever Tiny called.'

Perhaps the psychology students could also help decipher Mr Trelford's last words of farewell, a soccer metaphor warning to his successor, Jonathan Fenby, to take note of what happened to Brian Clough. Was he referring to years of success, a tragic downfall or an alleged drink problem? All very mysterious.