THE man who ran a York newsagents for a quarter of a century has died, aged 82.

Cyril George Hawkins, who leaves a widow Rose, ran the shop near Walmgate Bar with his son Alan between 1982 and 2007.

Alan said his father used to be up at 4.30am every morning, preparing newspapers for sale and delivery.

He said: "He used to say: "It's all bed and work."

He said the newsagents was at the heart of the community but it took his father three years to find a buyer when he decided it was time to retire, and the shop closed down several years later, and is now a hair salon.

The shop was at the forefront of the National Lottery revolution, having a terminal installed in time for its launch in the 1990s.

"On one occasion, an elderly gentleman had just bought a lottery ticket when he began to feel ill," he said.

"My father found him a chair to sit on until an ambulance arrived. When the paramedics got there, my father made sure he put the lottery ticket in his pocket before they took him away.

"Some weeks later, he came into the shop to thank us for calling the paramedics and ensuring he kept the ticket, but unfortunately he hadn't won anything!"

He said that on another occasion, burglars smashed the window to break into the shop and stole a huge number of lottery scratch cards.

"The alarm alerted the police, who contacted us and so we immediately rang the lottery people up and they managed to put a stop on the cards so that when the thieves might have thought they had won, say £100, they would have gone to cash them in only to find they were worthless!"

Mr Hawkins' funeral took place at York Crematorium last Thursday.