Tributes pour in following death of former South Yorkshire journalist and motoring writer

Tributes have poured in following the death of a popular and well-known South Yorkshire journalist and acclaimed motoring writer.

Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 3:35 pm
Bryan Longworth, who has died at the age of 87.

Bryan Longworth, who spent much of his career working at newspapers in South Yorkshire, died earlier this month at the age of 87.

Bryan, who lived in Chesterfield with his partner Patricia Revill, spent the latter part of his career working as a reporter at the Doncaster Free Press at its former offices in Sunny Bar in the lead up to his retirement.

In a career spanning more than six decades, he began life as a reporter on the South Yorkshire Times, progressing his way up to the editor of the paper’s Sheffield edition and as well as news, was also an acclaimed sports writer, covering the county’s football clubs, including reporting on the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 when 96 Liverpool fans were killed in a deadly crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground.

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Passionate about cars and motoring, he specialised as a motoring journalist and spent many years road testing hundreds of new and luxury vehicles across Europe, often travelling to France, Italy and other exotic locations to drive the latest set of wheels.

Even after retirement as a newspaper journalist, he kept penning freelance road tests and was still driving, deep into his mid 80s.

He was a stalwart of the Northern Group of Motoring Writers for around 50 years and became a life member in 2018. He was also a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers.

Former Doncaster Free Press editor Merrill Diplock said: “He was a real gentleman as well as a talented and popular journalist who relished trying out new cars and writing about them. He had many an entertaining tale to tell of his driving escapades."

Current Free Press sports writer Liam Hoden added: “What a man. Looked forward to him coming into Sunny Bar once a week in those later years. Very sad.”

JPIMedia Commercial Editor Graham Walker said: “Sad news. Bryan was a dedicated, hard working journalist, a community champion who served with a real sense of duty - a lovely guy.”

Free Press digital reporter Darren Burke, who worked alongside Bryan in the 1990s, added: “Bryan had already enjoyed an impressive career in Yorkshire journalism long before I began my career and I worked alongside him in his twilight years.

“He never really retired though and continued to pen motoring reviews for many years. Always immaculately dressed and an old school gentlemen, he provided some of the funniest moments at the DFP back in those days with his, shall we say, distinctive interviewing style, his unique turn of phrase and his cheeky sense of humour. A true one off."

Bryan was also responsible for motoring coverage as a freelance in a string of other newspaper titles across Northern England and won a Newspaper Society award for his reporting in 1997.

He died at Chesterfield Royal Infirmary on January 6 2021. His funeral will take place at 10.50am at Chesterfield Crematorium on January 23, but due to current coronavirus restrictions, will also be streamed online.

Donations in Bryan’s memory can be made to the British Heart Foundation HERE