Bernard Gent 1930-2022

Gent by name and a gent by nature, Bernard was one of our founder members in 1973 and he served as our treasurer from 1974 until 2021. He was also our chairman from 1990 to 1992.

With the late Alan Fawcett and later Alan Domville, Bernard helped to organise a host of annual dinners which raised many thousands of pounds for deserving causes including the Christie Hospital in Manchester, the James Cook University Hospital in the north east, the First Responders in Shropshire and the Lifeboat Station in Scarborough.

Even after being accorded life membership Bernard remained so very active within our Group, continuing to edit our quarterly newsletters and annual handbooks and organising a series of cricket matches between us and the industry. Bernard also edited The Challenger, a community newspaper, and handled public relations for North Yorkshire County Council.

Bernard was born in Middlesbrough and as a youngster during the Second World War he was evacuated to the Yorkshire countryside. He joined the Northern Echo as a teenager and after training as a news reporter he began to cover sport, in particular Middlesbrough FC, and also
became the paper’s motoring correspondent.

Bernard had started to support Boro from the age of seven and for 25 years from 1966 he was “the voice” at the football club’s former stadium, announcing the team line-ups and playing records.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to Ayresome Park” was his catchphrase. He chose the theme for the television series “The Power Game” to be played as the Boro players came on to the pitch and also created an in-house radio station at the club.

Bernard reminisced about his long association with the Boro for a BBC Radio programme in 2017 and following his death Tyne-Tees Television paid a special tribute to him within their news programme, as did Boro on their website.

Our general secretary’s tribute for Hold The Front Page, the journalists’ news website, and those in the Echo and the Tees Gazette prompted scores more from his readers and football fans.

Bernard is survived by Hazel and their two sons and their families, and his daughter Aly.

Contributed by Alan Domville.

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