Tributes to S Yorks journalist John Ridgeway

John Ridgeway
John Ridgeway
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South Yorkshire journalist John Ridgeway - whose career in newspapers spanned nearly 50 years - has died aged 83.

The Star’s former revise sub editor died at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary after a long illness involving pulmonary complications.

John worked at The Star for many years before his retirement, based for much of the time in the paper’s York Street offices.

It was while he was doing relief work there later on that he broke his hip in a bad fall, causing problems from which he never fully recovered.

“He was a great chap,” said Selby-based photographer Eric Foster, who worked with him when he was deputy editor of the York Gazette and Herald.

And Charles Gardner, who later became editor of the paper where John’s career had started – the Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express – 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 proof read a book I had written. I’m sure other colleagues would confirm he was a true professional of the old school.”

Married to Sybil for 54 years, John was a devout Christian and worked for St Luke’s Church in South Elmsall in recent years.

Born in Carcroft and educated at Hemsworth Grammar School, John took on a job at the local paper when he heard they paid £1 more than his employers at a nearby quarry.

He subsequently worked at Wolverhampton, Boston, Rotherham, York and Doncaster, on the old Evening News and the Gazette.

As well as by Sybil, John is survived by his children David and Judith, twin granddaughters Joanne and Rachel, and great-granddaughter Kayleigh.

Recently ordained family member Stephen Ward will be taking the funeral, which will be held at The Grove, South Kirkby, at noon on Thursday, September 5, followed by interment at the Pontefract Crematorium and refreshments at Burntwood. Donations in lieu of flowers will go to a boys’ home in the Philippines.