Death of top journalist and author

Brian Laban (left) At Turn Ten Sebring, meeting one of the drivers from Team Impala, Anymonkey Willdeau

Brian Laban (left) At Turn Ten Sebring, meeting one of the drivers from Team Impala, Anymonkey Willdeau

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The death has occurred of a Mexborough man who was one of the country's leading and most respected motoring journalists and authors.

Brian Laban who was 68 died last week in hospital near his home in Sussex where he was being treated for bowel cancer.

An author of more than 40 motoring books Brian also contributed on motoring affairs to many leading newspaper titles and magazines including The Daily Telegraph.

He was a renowned specialist writer on the famous Le Mans race and was author of the definitive book "Le Mans 24 Hours".

Brian was a longstanding member and official of the Guild of Motoring Writers, the Fleet Street Motoring Group and the Southern Group of Motoring Writers.

He attended Mexborough Grammar School and after graduating in physics at the North East London Polytechnic now the University of East London he started his career in motoring journalism over 40 years ago as press officer at the British Automobile Racing Club. Brian's wife Mary predeceased him and there were no children. He is survived by his mother Irene, aged 94.

Former South Yorkshire Times motoring journalist Bryan Longworth says he first met Brian Laban many years ago on a new car Press launch. Bryan said: "As soon as Brian knew I worked for the South Yorkshire Times which was then based and printed in Mexborough and was the biggest selling weekly paper in South Yorkshire we became good friends.

"For despite being such a well known and highly respected motoring journalist and author Brian remained true to his roots in Mexborough and was a very modest likeable and friendly man.

"He loved to read the South Yorkshire Times to keep in touch with local affairs and whenever we met at motoring events he wanted to know what was happening locally.

"Sometimes when he visited his parents in Mexborough, he would contact me and we would all go to our favourite pub, the Cadeby Inn in Cadeby, for a pint and a meal and a good natter. "His mother is a lovely lady and I offer my sincere condolences to her."