Death of a ‘perfect gentleman’

Former Times Editor Brian Kelly.
Former Times Editor Brian Kelly.

TRIBUTES have poured into the South Yorkshire Times, after a much -respected former editor died following a battle with cancer.

Brian Kelly, editor of the Times between 1979-1996 died on Sunday, February 20, after a long illness.

Mr Kelly died at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, where he had been treated for bone cancer, aged 74.

He was brought up in West Melton, joined the paper in 1952 and totalled over 38 years service with it.

Mr Kelly spent two years’ National Service in the RAF, worked for two years with the daily Sheffield Telegraph and two years with the National Coal Board’s Coal News.

He served the Times as chief reporter news editor and deputy editor.

Mr Kelly was a past president of the Yorkshire Region of the British Guild of Newspaper Editors. He is survived by widow Shirley, daughter Louise and granddaughter Sara.

His daughter Louise said: “Dad was a kind and thoughtful man. He loved horse racing and watching his sport. Everyone who has called us has said what a lovely man he was.”

Former South Yorkshire Times colleagues paid tribute to Mr Kelly this week.

Veteran South Yorkshire Times motoring correspondent Bryan Longworth said: “I have known Brian for virtually all our working lives. We worked together as reporters at the Rotherham office of the South Yorkshire Times and he was a great bloke as a colleague and a friend.

“Brian was a very good journalist, which was reflected in the editorship he took over from his predecessor Dick Ridyard – he was always very fair in the way he treated his staff.

“I know he will be sadly missed and my thoughts go out to his family at this sad time.”

Former Times reporter Anne Story said she was devastated by the news. She added: “Brian was the best boss in the world and a gentleman.

“He was brilliant at his job, and everyone who came into contact with him admired him.

“Brian will be well and truly missed by all his old colleagues – many of whom he helped with guidance from his vast journalistic experience.

“We were still in contact with him right to the end, and visited him on a regular basis, up to the present day.

“There aren’t many people who can say that about their former boss.”

Mr Kelly’s funeral service will be held at Mexborough Parish Church on Friday, March 4, at 11am.

Donations in lieu of flowers to the Doncaster Cancer Detection Trust. Visit the Trust’s website at: www.dcdt.co.uk