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Tributes paid to former journalist John Ridgeway
8:48am Saturday 24th August 2013 in News
TRIBUTES have been paid to former journalist John Ridgeway, who has died after a five-decade career in the newspaper business.
Mr Ridgeway, who worked on a number of newspapers around the Yorkshire region, died in hospital at the age of 83, following a long illness.
Mr Ridgeway was the deputy editor of The Press’s sister paper, the Gazette & Herald, and had also worked on the (then) Evening Press, the Hemsworth & South Elmsall Express, and newspapers in Wolverhampton, Boston, Rotherham and Doncaster.
Charles Gardner, former editor of the Hemsworth & South Elmsall Express, where Mr Ridgeway’s career had started, said: “It was a privilege to have known him.
“I know it’s a cliché, but he was a gentle giant of a man with a heart of gold and a lovely sense of humour. He was meticulous too, as I discovered when I asked him to proofread a book I had written. I’m sure other colleagues would confirm that he was a true professional of the old school.”
Born in Carcroft and educated at Hemsworth Grammar School, Mr Ridgeway took on a job at the local paper when he heard they paid £1 more than his employers at a nearby quarry.
A long-time resident of South Elmsall, near Wakefield, Mr Ridgeway worked at The Star, based in Sheffield, for a number of years before his retirement and it was while he was doing relief work there later on that he broke his hip in a bad fall on a city street, causing problems from which he never fully recovered. He died earlier this month at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary after a long illness involving pulmonary complications.
Eric Foster, Press photographer for Selby, said: “He was a great chap.”
Mr Ridgeway is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sybil, and his children David and Judith, twin granddaughters Joanne and Rachel and great-granddaughter Kayleigh.
John was a devoted Christian and his funeral will be held at The Grove, South Kirkby, at noon on Thursday, September 5, followed by interment at the Pontefract Crematorium.
His family have requested donations in lieu of flowers to a boys’ home in the Philippines.
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