Tribute to the late Ron Humberstone - Sheffield and South Yorkshire sports correspondent for more than 50 years

Ron Humberstone: a great character
Ron Humberstone: a great character
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Ron Humberstone, South Yorkshire sports correspondent for more than 50 years and altogether a great bloke, died last week in the Northern General Hospital, aged 90.

Ron, a steelworker by trade, got into newspapers in the early Sixties, as Ecclesfield correspondent for the South Yorkshire Times, The Star and the Morning Telegraph, succeding Keith Farnsworth when he became a staffman.

His main interest was sport, particularly local league cricket, and he was still reporting South Yorkshire League and South Yorkshire Alliance matches for Grass Roots last summer.

But he also had a big interest in football, providing live Sheffield FC matches from Don Valley and Hillsborough Park for the Green Un. Sheffield officials used to joke that they were the oldest football club with the oldest reporter!

Often the “copygirl” taking his reports over the phone was his wife Jean, who worked for The Star and Green Un for 30 years. Jean died in August 2012.

Ron also specialised in local league football, supplying round-ups of many famous Sheffield leagues including the Hatchard, County Senior, Bible Class, Amateur League and Regional Sunday. His final Wragg Over-35 round-up appeared in this newspaper only three weeks ago.

He was a great competitive sportsman in his younger days, playing football for Ecclesfield Church and cricket for Ecclesfield CC. He was a cross country champion, an amateur boxer and threw darts for the Black Bull at Ecclesfield.

He was still playing golf twice a week at Grange Park until a month ago.

There are even tales of the young Ron being a prize boxer when travelling fairs visited.

Ecclesfield Grammar Schoolboy Ron first worked in the mines, but was denied his wish to go fight in World War 2, being conscripted as a Bevin Boy.

Ron and Jean had five daughters and a son and many grandchildren. The funeral is at St Mary’s Church, Ecclesfield on Monday, March 16 at 2.15, before burial with wife Jean at Ecclesfield Cemetery. There is a tea at Grange Park GC at 4pm.