Bryan Longworth – 1933-2021

Bryan Longworth, who died in January 2021, became a member of the Northern Group in 1974 and served as our meetings secretary from 1985 until 2017, arranging sponsorship for at least half a dozen get-togethers during most of those years.

He was 87 but had retired from writing on motoring only three years before his death – and somewhat reluctantly, because of health issues.

Bryan supplied motoring, news and sports copy to many titles in the north of England including the South Yorkshire Times Group, several within Newsquest and also local papers in Gainsborough, Epworth, and Worksop.

On many occasions he would rush home to Chesterfield from a launch in time to cover an evening borough or parish council meeting and submit his piece in time for publication the following morning.

Bryan was present in the press box at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough ground on that tragic afternoon in 1989 when 97 Liverpool fans died in a deadly crush. He was asked to provide evidence at the subsequent inquest.

Over the years Bryan received many awards including one given by the Newspaper Society. He even won a Pirelli award for his articles on motor-cycling.

Bryan’s life was packed with hard work – but essentially he made sure that his work was full of fun.

Many of us suffered embarrassing moments conjured up by press offices over the years and Bryan had his share but was always unfazed – even to the extent of having ferrets crawling up his legs at a Northern Group social event back in the 1980s.

Bryan was also a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers for more than 40 years.

In a moving tribute following the announcement of Bryan’s death one of our members, Jonathan Smith, described Bryan as a real newshound who could spot a story a mile away – and he had a heart of gold. Very true – and he was also a gentleman, always immaculately dressed.

He was punctual too, as Keith Ward observed in his appreciation of Bryan. “He would be the first to arrive at a UK event and the first to dash away; ever on the move, he couldn’t stay still. He was a local newspaper reporter respected in Fleet Street for the many story tip-offs he supplied.”

Bryan is survived by his partner Pat Revill.

Contributed by Alan Domville.

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