Obituaries Thread

Apologies if such a thread already exists, but just somewhere to log nteresting obits from the papers, that are not celebs or even quite significant people.

This woman seemed an alright sort and well-liked and a nicely written obit from someone who was clearly fond of her

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Any relation to Bill?


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saturday august 22 2020



Desmond Guinness obituary

Rescuer of grand Irish houses, friend to rock stars and son of Diana Mitford

Desmond Guinness at Leixlip Castle with his children Marina and Patrick in 1963


Saturday August 22 2020, 12.01am BST, The Times

In July 1957, Desmond Guinness wrote a courteous letter to The Irish Times : “Sir, As the Georgian Society seems to have lapsed, has anyone any objection to my restarting it?” Guinness and his wife, Mariga, had been spurred into action after witnessing the distressing demolition of two elegant government-owned Georgian houses on Kildare Place, Dublin. There was no reason for their destruction other than the state’s disinclination to maintain them.

The Irish Georgian Society, defunct since the First World War, spluttered back into being in February 1958 with 16 members. Yet official support was limited in an impoverished country where Georgian architecture was sometimes seen as the imposition of a foreign culture. Guinness visited several of the country’s great estates, finding many in badly reduced condition including Riverstown, Co Cork, where seed potatoes were stored beneath the beautiful plasterwork. “May the crows roost in its rafters,” remarked a farmer of the large house on his land.

Guinness, whose charm could stop a bulldozer in its tracks, believed that these buildings should be cherished not only for their inherent beauty, but also for their tourism potential. “We are the only country in Europe that has not yet developed its architecture as a tourist asset,” he declared in the society’s spring bulletin in 1960.

His enthusiasm slowly helped to create a more enlightened approach to planning and conservation, but it was not achieved easily. Critics saw the society as elitist, an impression fostered by fundraising balls and cricket matches played in 18th-century clothing to the laws of 1744. One lord mayor of Dublin decried their “sentimental nonsense”, while Kevin Boland, a government minister, derided the “consortium of belted earls and their ladies and left-wing intellectuals”.

Although many buildings were lost, including Lower Fitzwilliam Street to the Electricity Supply Board, there were remarkable acts of conservation, including the rescue of Tailors’ Hall in Dublin, the restoration of the obelisk known as Conolly’s Folly, and the purchase of a house in Mountjoy Square that stood in the centre of a proposed office development. The ensuing stand-off, while his friends held a picnic on the steps, drew the attention of the press and eventually the developer retreated.

Most ambitiously, in 1967 Guinness borrowed against a family trust to buy Castletown House, which was in a desperate condition, the lead taken from its roof and the windows broken. As bohemian aristocrats who did not shy from picking up a paintbrush, the Guinnesses led a small volunteer army restoring what is perhaps the finest Palladian house in Ireland. “It was like one constant party,” recalled his daughter, Marina, who was about ten at the time. Soon Castletown was opened to visitors, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who was given a well-publicised tour.

Much of the borrowing was repaid by Guinness’s sparkling book Irish Houses & Castles (with William Ryan, 1971) which, despite the misgivings of its publisher, became a bestseller. “If ever a book saved a house, this was it,” he later wrote. He was a brilliant fundraiser, lecturing in America and returning with large cheques from bedazzled society ladies.

Guinness with Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger at Leixlip Castle in 1968


In 1958 Guinness had also bought the dilapidated Leixlip Castle, a Norman fortress dating from 1172. “I first saw it in 1955 when I was still living in my father’s house near the Phoenix Park [in Dublin],” he told The Sunday Times in 2003. “He had seen an advertisement for it and got on to me and said, ‘Really dear boy, it’s about time’.” Guinness paid £15,500 (about £377,000 in today’s money), a third of his fortune at the time, for the castle and an adjoining 180-acre farm. His father, Lord Moyne, celebrated the purchase by giving Mariga an Arabian stallion. “It was a small sleepy village when we moved here,” Guinness recalled of the local area. “There was nothing in the way of a restaurant or bank. The farm wages came in registered post in cash from Dublin.”

Guinness at Leixlip Castle in 1963

Guinness at Leixlip Castle in 1963


Leixlip, which became the Irish Georgian Society’s de facto clubhouse, had been improved over the years: windows with stone mullions were added in the 17th century and battlements in the 19th century. There were even bathtubs, but they were used as water troughs in the fields. Guinness and his wife moved in with only a mattress, a gun and 540 books. The wiring was so unsafe that the power could not be reconnected. His favourite room was the circular sitting room in a castellated 14th-century tower, the only room light enough to read in without electric lamps. Unfashionable Irish pictures and antique furniture were gathered, creating an impression of disordered grandeur that influenced a generation of collectors and interior decorators, including Christopher Gibbs and David Mlinaric.

On one occasion Guinness bid ten shillings for an unremarkable kitchen table. “It turned out to be the most amazing carved Irish mahogany with a black marble top,” he said, adding that it was used by Eileen, his long-serving cook, who was ever ready to prepare impromptu dinners for 40 people. She needed to be: Leixlip became a hangout for the “rockocracy” with a stream of guests including Mick Jagger and the Police, who were thrown together in generously hospitable house parties of often memorable membership, including Princess Margaret.

Desmond with his mother, Diana, and older brother, Jonathan


This was a golden time in Dublin. Leixlip came to life. Old Oxford colleagues, bohemians, literary figures such as Ian Fleming and the Dublin intelligentsia all rubbed shoulders in the grand house. People floated through 18th-century rooms in fancy dress drinking champagne cocktails. Mostly they were entertained in the navy dining room, which had jasmine growing up its 1765 gothic revival windows. “We used to light the candles in here and Marianne Faithfull, a great, great friend who lives next door [five miles away], used to sing in front of the fireplace,” Guinness recalled. “She was such a dazzling beauty. You couldn’t possibly resist her.”

One day Jagger asked to see other examples of Irish architecture so Guinness took him to a grand country house not far away only to find that a social event was taking place there. “Never mind,” Guinness said, “let’s climb in through a window and I’ll show you round.” Jagger’s protests were ignored and he was given a tour, without the owner’s knowledge, before they left by the window again.

Desmond Walter Guinness was born in 1931, the younger of two sons of Bryan Guinness, scion of the 18th-century brewing family who became the 2nd Lord Moyne when his own father was assassinated in Cairo in 1944. His mother, Diana, regarded as the most beautiful and controversial of the Mitford sisters, went into labour with Desmond while at the theatre but was so enjoying the play that she stayed until the end. His brother, Jonathan, is the 3rd Lord Moyne.

During the interwar years their parents were among the brightest of the “bright young things”, a group satirised in Evelyn Waugh’s novel Vile Bodies (1930), which he dedicated to Bryan and Diana. A year after her son’s birth Diana began an affair with Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists. She and Mosley were married in 1936, in the Berlin home of Joseph Goebbels, with Hitler a guest.

After Diana’s death in 2003 Guinness was shocked to receive 100 pages of declassified MI5 files describing how, at the instigation of his grandfather, his governess, fondly called Growler, had been paid to spy on her. “It is a terrible thing when one is 72 to realise that this charming old lady was probably on the take,” he said.

One MI5 memo claimed that Diana planned to take her sons to meet Hitler in August 1939, but the visit was cancelled because of the imminence of war. Growler wrote to the boys’ grandfather: “The children would have known how to greet the Führer for they had been taught to give the Nazi salute and to say ‘Heil Hitler’.” Guinness said he remembered nothing of these lessons. However, on another occasion he did recall riding a donkey in a May Day parade in Derbyshire “completely smothered in swastikas”. In 1940 Diana was interned in Holloway prison, where she was visited by her son. Although Guinness acknowledged the postwar hostility towards her and his stepfather, he would not say a bad word against her. “She was very beautiful, very funny,” he said, keeping her portrait by Augustus John on his wall.

Meanwhile, young Desmond was educated at Eton and Gordonstoun before going up to Christ Church, Oxford, to read French and Italian. As a handsome undergraduate with flaxen hair and the mesmeric blue eyes of his mother’s family he was featured in the London newspapers wearing leopard-print trousers.

At Oxford he met Princess Marie-Gabrielle von Urach, known as Mariga, an English-raised member of the German royal house of Württemberg who was known for carrying a parrot, called Xerxes, on her shoulder. They were married in 1954, living near Cirencester where Guinness attended the agricultural college, though he later conceded that “somehow milking cows doesn’t thrill me the way it thrills some people”.

Desmond Guinness and his friend Jerry Hall in 2010

Desmond Guinness and his friend Jerry Hall in 2010


They scoured the countryside for a permanent home, but were gazumped on a haunted house that later became the home of Prince Michael of Kent. Instead, they settled on Ireland, in part because his father lived there for half the year, while his mother and Mosley lived at Clonfert Palace, Co Galway, before settling in France. The couple later separated, with Mariga living in one turret of the castle, and in 1980 the marriage was dissolved, the costs of which required the controversial sale of some valuable paintings. Mariga died in 1989, aged 56, after a heart attack while on the Holyhead-Dun Laoghaire ferry.

In 1984 Guinness married Penelope Cuthbertson, granddaughter of the artist Nico Jungmann, friend of Jerry Hall and herself a model who had lived with Lucian Freud. She survives him with his son and daughter from his first marriage, Patrick, a financial analyst and historian, and Marina, who works with Irish artists and musicians. Their nanny would take the children to the lake, where Guinness would ride up to them on his black horse, pick up Marina and “ride really, really fast”, she recalled.

Guinness, described by friends as an unassuming but mischievous and flirtatious man, played the clavichord and French horn, and hated cats. He continued with his preservation work, championing not only historic buildings but also the arts. In 1970 he helped to organise a chamber music festival at Castletown House in Co Kildare, the first of what became the Great Music in Irish Houses festival, at which a young Jagger is said to have helped to set out the chairs. John Williams, the Australian guitarist, played at the inaugural event.

Although the silver-haired Guinness stepped down as chairman of the Irish Georgian Society in 1990, Leixlip Castle and its visitors remained the centre of his life. The writer and historian Ulick O’Connor recalled venturing down one morning to find Jagger having breakfast in his dressing gown while reading Oscar Wilde’s fairytales. “Here, it always seems to be this weekend or the next,” mused Guinness philosophically.

Desmond Guinness, conservationist and author, was born on September 8, 1931. He died from undisclosed causes on August 20, 2020, aged 88


friday february 19 2021
Yuri Vlasov obituary
Olympic gold-winning Russian weightlifter and intellectual who recited poetry before a lift and later became a politician

Vlasov, a lifelong lover of literature, set three world records on the way to winning the gold medal at the 1960 Olympics

Thursday February 18 2021, 5.00pm GMT, The Times

It was an unusual sight for those who could see through the spectators’ smoke at the Palazzetto dello Sport on September 10, 1960, the penultimate day of competition at the Rome Olympic Games.

In the seventh and final weightlifting contest at the 11,500-capacity multi-sport venue, which had no air-conditioning but plenty of overflowing ashtrays, two huge heavyweights in scanty singlets were vying for gold. One was from the United States and the other from its Cold War adversary behind the Iron Curtain. Unusually for weightlifting, both were intellectuals.

Wearing white, the 132kg (20st) African-American James Bradford had a 10kg advantage over the blond Russian hulk Yuri Vlasov, who wore red and competed in horn-rimmed spectacles.

Vlasov had shown his strength at the opening ceremony in Rome by carrying the 16kg Soviet flag one-handed for an entire lap of the Stadio Olimpico. The watching world was impressed and Vlasov was given the job again in Tokyo four years later, the only man to carry the hammer and sickle twice at the summer Olympics.

Bradford was a master librarian whose career at the Library of Congress in Washington DC would last more than half a century. He put his hands together in prayer and crossed himself before making his lifts in Rome. Vlasov preferred poetry for inspiration. He whispered a few of his favourite lines to himself and it worked. He set three world records in winning Olympic gold and on his final attempt in the clean and jerk became the first man to lift more than 200kg.

“Words are the best kind of doping,” Vlasov would say in 1986, in an interview for Pravda in which he condemned the widespread use of steroids in Soviet sport and named names.

He was a lifelong lover of literature and a prolific writer of short stories, heavyweight journalism and novels, most notably the Flaming Cross trilogy set during the Russian Revolution.

Vlasov would return home after a day of training to sit at his desk with a pot of strong black coffee and write until 4am. He kept up this lifestyle throughout the many years when he lived up to his billing as “the world’s strongest man” by setting numerous world records and winning ten global and continental heavyweight titles.

Sport was never going to be enough for Vlasov, who said far too few sportsmen made anything of their lives after they stopped competing. He focused on his writing after retiring from the lifting platform in 1968, criticising abuses of power and later trying to do something about it by going into politics.

He may not have made it to the top of the podium in that arena but Vlasov was elected to the Duma in 1993 and was enough of a heavyweight to stand against Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin in Russia’s first presidential election after the fall of communism.

Yuri Petrovich Vlasov was born in Makiivka (now in Ukraine) in 1935, to Maria Vaslova and Pyotr Vlasov. His father was a Comintern agent in China during the Second World War, the Soviet consul in Shanghai and later ambassador in Burma. During the war Vlasov and his mother were evacuated to Siberia, where he suffered malnutrition and hair loss at the age of eight. They returned to Moscow in 1943 and Vlasov became an outstanding all-round athlete at a military academy before studying communications engineering and taking up weightlifting in his late teens. He was soon winning medals.

When he was 17 Vlasov lost his father. The official cause of death was sarcoma of the lungs but Vlasov told the newspaper Argumenty I Fakty that his father may have been a victim of Joseph Stalin’s henchman Lavrentiy Beria, with whom he had fallen out.

In 1957 he married a student artist who came to draw him, Natalya Modorova, and had a daughter, Yelena. After Natalya’s death he married another student who was half his age in 1976.

When he won the 1961 world title in Vienna, Vlasov was watched by a 14-year-old Austrian beginner in the sport, one Arnold Schwarzenegger. The youngster was introduced to Vlasov by his coach and saw him as an inspiration. Schwarzenegger said the bespectacled Vlasov looked like an intellectual but also “like a monster”. In 1988 Schwarzenegger, by now a Hollywood star, went to Moscow to film Red Heat and met Vlasov in a gym for an arm-wrestle and a photoshoot. He presented Vlasov with a photo signed: “To my idol.”

Vlasov spoke of his own mental strength in the 1980s, when he returned to sport for a while to be president of the Russian Weightlifting Federation. It was only his willpower, he said, that enabled him to recover from a series of illnesses and a serious spinal injury, sustained in training two decades earlier. Despite twice having surgery on his spine he could still lift substantial weights in his seventies.

His sporting career might have ended in shame before his triumph in Rome. Shortly before the Olympics he had a serious drinking session with three team-mates, a shot-putter and two pole-vaulters. Some wanted him thrown off the team but Vlasov was too strong a gold medal chance and he remained. He had another famous drinking session a few years later with Yuri Gagarin, the cosmonaut, at the Kremlin.

As a favourite of the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, he was invited over the years to meet Fidel Castro, Charles de Gaulle and others. His criticism of the government, and especially the KGB, earned him a reputation that helped him to gain supporters in politics. In the 1996 election, the first in post-Communist Russia, Vlasov stood as an independent against 15 rivals and was soundly beaten by Yeltsin, as was Gorbachev.

In his political career he railed against communism, spoke of a “Zionist conspiracy” and stated: “There is only one single force that is able to unite almost all and at the same time become the ideological basis of the Russian state: popular patriotism.”

It was not so very different from his summing-up of his sporting career. “I would have never have become an athlete without the noble traditions of Russian strength. I believed that it was my mission to set an example of courage and indestructibility for the people.”

Yuri Vlasov, weightlifter, was born on December 5, 1935. He died of natural causes on February 13, 2021, aged 85

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Ian St John obituary

Key member of Bill Shankly’s first great Liverpool side who later formed one half of the popular ‘Saint and Greavsie’ TV double act

Ian St John, left, with Jimmy Greaves on Saint and Greavsie in 1987. It inspired many copycat shows in the 1990s


Tuesday March 02 2021, 5.00pm GMT, The Times



Ian St John, the former Liverpool and Scotland forward, has died aged 82, his family said.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have to inform you that after a long illness we have lost a husband, father and grandfather,” they said in a statement.

“He passed away peacefully with his family at his bedside. We would like to thank all the staff at Arrowe Park Hospital for their hard work and dedication during these very difficult times.”

Liverpool FC said they were “deeply saddened” by the loss of a “true Anfield legend”.

Bill Shankly was in no doubt that signing Ian St John in 1961 was the start of a revolution that would propel Liverpool FC to three decades of domination in the English and European game.

“The turning point was the signing of Ian St John and Ron Yeats,” the Liverpool manager later recalled. “That was the beginning, no doubt about that.”

While the Beatles were starting a youthquake at the Cavern Club across the city, the massed ranks of supporters on the Kop at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium were soon singing to the beat of the diminutive striker as Liverpool rose from the Second Division to win First Division titles in 1964 and 1966.

St John facing Leicester City in the FA Cup in 1970


The highlight for St John was scoring the winning goal in the 1965 FA Cup final against Leeds United with a flying header. The goal earned him messianic status on the red half of Merseyside, as attested when underneath a sign outside a church saying “Jesus Saves”, somebody wrote, “and St John scores on the rebound”.

Alan Bleasdale, the Liverpudlian television scriptwriter, said he once got a date because the girl in question said he was a “dead ringer” for St John.

St John would go on to endear himself to a new generation of football fans in the 1980s as one half of a popular Saturday lunchtime television double act with Jimmy Greaves. For seven years Saint and Greavsie on ITV sent hundreds of thousands of football supporters off to watch games that afternoon with smiles on their faces.

When the programme started in 1985 British football was at a low ebb, watched in crumbling stadiums where attendances were at a record low. Saint and Greasvie would provide much-needed cheer throughout a decade beset by fatal stadium disasters at Valley Parade, Heysel and Hillsborough.

In a mixture of banter and analysis, the besuited St John played the straight man to the waggish Greaves, who invariably wore a loud jumper while sporting a broom-head moustache. The premise was to show clips of matches from the previous week and preview that day’s games kicking off at 3pm. In between, the chirpy cockney Greavsie (himself one of the all-time great strikers) would subvert the supposedly serious show with his offbeat wisecracks, often at the expense of the “Jocks” and the quality, or lack thereof, of Scottish goalkeepers in particular. The Motherwell-born St John bore these slights with booming, good-natured laughter before restoring order and presenting the next item.

St John and Greaves with their Spitting Image puppets


Award-winning comedy it may not have been, but the chemistry of two old timers sharing anecdotes of being on the receiving end of “assaults” on the pitch from the likes of Norman “Bites Yer Legs” Hunter and Ron “Chopper” Harris proved a hit with fans, even in Scotland.

The Morecambe and Wise of football, as they became known, would later inspire shows such as Frank Skinner and David Baddiel’s Fantasy Football League and Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports. At the birth of the Premier League in 1992, when ITV lost out to Sky for the rights to live broadcasts of matches, Saint and Greavsie was cancelled to much outcry, but it had served its turn in keeping football fans cheered up during the game’s darkest decade.

Ian St John was born the son a steelworker, Alex, and his wife, Helen, in Motherwell in 1938 and raised with his five siblings in an unheated two-room Lanarkshire flat. At the age of six his father died of pleurisy, the result of standing in heavy rain on the Motherwell terraces. Encouraged by a local football coach, Pat McCourt, who became a father figure to him, the young St John dedicated his energies to the game and in 1956 signed for Motherwell. St John earned £6 per week as a part-timer, continuing to work half-heartedly as an apprentice engineer. He announced himself by scoring a hat-trick against Hibernian in 2 minutes, 30 seconds in 1959. He also made his international debut that year, and would play in five encounters against England, coming out on the losing side only once, the 9-3 thrashing at Wembley in 1961; Greaves, who scored a hat-trick that day, was not shy in reminding St John of the scoreline.

Shankly, then manager of Huddersfield, first noticed him in 1957 in a Scotland Under-23 game against the army but could not persuade the club’s board to finance the deal.

Newcastle United tried to sign him in 1961 but Shankly, now Liverpool boss, swooped. His ruse to send a Rolls-Royce to drive St John to Anfield may have swayed his decision.

Liverpool paid £37,500, a record for the second division club, but it seemed money well spent when on his debut against Everton St John scored a hat-trick in front of a crowd of 70,000 (although Everton won the tie 4-3). He would score 15 more in the 1961-62 season, helping Liverpool to end their long exile from the top flight.

Cheery and instantly recognisable with his crew-cut hairstyle, St John scored 19 and 21 goals for Liverpool in the next two seasons. In 1964 they finished six points ahead of Leeds to win the title. By now St John was a key component in a side that included his compatriots Ron Yeats and Tommy Lawrence, Tommy Smith and the wingers Peter Thompson and Ian Callaghan. An energetic and nifty all-rounder who was skilful on the ball, St John was also known for his ability to outjump defenders despite standing only 5ft 7in. He was not a prolific goalscorer but created countless opportunities for his strike partner Roger Hunt, who took the lion’s share of the goals. A schoolboy boxer, St John showed no compunction in standing up to the brutal defenders of the era. He was sent off for retaliation six times in his career.

St John in 1968


None of his opponents were tougher than Leeds. In the 1965 FA Cup final Liverpool had outplayed the Yorkshire outfit but after 90 minutes the game was goalless. In extra time Hunt scored with a low-stooping header, only for Billy Bremner to level matters. With minutes remaining, Ian Callaghan crossed the ball to meet the head of St John who powered home the winner. Not only had he helped Liverpool to their first FA Cup final victory, he also found God in the process. “You hear yourself praying: ‘please God, give me this’,” he recalled of that day. “I had never had such an attack of instant religion.”

In the same season Liverpool lost in the semi-final of the European Cup. After a 3-1 home victory over Inter Milan, they were defeated 3-0 in the away leg. Inter’s first two goals were highly suspect and rumours abounded that the Spanish referee had been bribed. A year later Liverpool lost in the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund at Hampden Park but the team laid the foundations for Liverpool’s many triumphs in European competitions in the Seventies and Eighties. Recalling his playing days under the charismatic but eccentric Shankly never failed to generate St John’s infectious laugh. Sex was officially banned on Friday nights before games. “At first he told us to wear boxing gloves in bed, then later he would tell us to send the wife to her mother.”

Less of a laughing matter was his £35 a week wage. “We once sent a deputation, Gordon Milne, big Yeatsy and Ian Callaghan, to get an extra tenner. They came out with a fiver, so I went up to £40 a week and that was me until I left.”

Towards the end of the Sixties St John was dogged by a knee injury. After being dropped from the first team for a game against Newcastle in 1969 he refused to play as a substitute unless Shankly came down from his seat and apologised for picking the wrong team. Shankly’s refusal was the beginning of the end. St John’s last appearance for Liverpool came as a substitute in the 1971 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal. In 424 games for the reds St John scored 118 times. He also scored nine goals in 21 appearances for Scotland but his international career ended prematurely in 1965 when he publicly criticised the “comedians” on the selection committee who had dropped him after he scored against England.

He moved to Coventry City and then in 1972 to Tranmere Rovers, but after breaking a leg in training he called it a day in 1973. He returned to Motherwell as manager, and for a year he displayed promise. Certainly, Jock Stein was impressed, and the Celtic manager telephoned Leeds United recommending St John as a replacement for the departing Don Revie. He made it to a short list of two, losing out to Brian Clough. By the time Clough departed in ignominy 43 days later, St John was unavailable, having taken over at Portsmouth.

His three years at the south coast club were not happy ones. St John had not been given the money he had been promised to help Portsmouth secure promotion and he departed in 1977 to become assistant manager at Sheffield Wednesday.

St John ran soccer camps throughout the country and later worked on the after-dinner speaking circuit, where his warmth and tirelessness as a raconteur were much in demand. He did radio punditry on Merseyside, wrote a column for the Sunday Post and was a keen golfer. He is survived by his wife Betsy, whom he had married at the age of 20, along with their son, Ian, who worked as his father’s agent, and daughter, Elaine. Another son died in infancy.

In 2014 St John had his bladder and prostate removed having had cancer diagnosed a few years earlier. He continued to appear on TV to reminisce about the “glory days” under Shankly, breaking down in tears as he remembered the adulation and roar of the Kop.

Ian St John, footballer, was born on June 7, 1938. He died after a long illness on March 1, 2021, aged 82

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England striker Jimmy Greaves dies aged 81
Deadly England striker and record goalscorer for Tottenham who endeared himself to a later generation with his quips on the Saint and Greavsie TV show

Jimmy Greaves, English football’s greatest goalscorer, has died aged 81, Tottenham Hotspur has announced.

The former England and Chelsea striker has rarely been seen in public since he suffered a near-fatal stroke in May 2015 that left him with difficulty with his speech and confined to a wheelchair.

Greaves scored 266 league and cup goals for Tottenham, and also had spells at Chelsea and West Ham, holding the record for most top-flight goals in English football, with a total of 357.

The Premier League club said in a statement: “We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of the great Jimmy Greaves, not just Tottenham’s record goalscorer but the finest marksman this country has ever seen. Jimmy passed away at home in the early hours of this morning, aged 81.

“Throughout his wonderful playing career, Jimmy’s strike rate was phenomenal. His Spurs return was 266 goals in 379 appearances between 1961 and 1970 - 220 goals in 321 league games, 32 goals in 36 FA Cup ties, five in just eight League Cup ties and nine in 14 European matches.”

Few footballers are best remembered for a match in which they did not play. To record the fact that Jimmy Greaves is one of that unlucky number is not to denigrate his sublime skills that made him one of the finest strikers English football has produced.

The showery London afternoon of July 30, 1966 produced more than its share of famous images, but there was one photograph that became loaded with poignancy as the decades passed and England’s World Cup victory acquired a mythical status. It showed the England bench as Geoff Hurst’s fulminating shot completed his hat-trick and the team’s 4-2 victory over West Germany at Wembley.

There are only two men who are not in the early stages of ecstatic celebration; one is the preternaturally reserved manager, Alf Ramsey. The other is Greaves, the striker replaced by Hurst in the England side. While the other non-playing members of the squad have their arms in the air and wear expressions of pure joy, Greaves looks quizzically in the direction of the pitch. “It was a total blank,” he later recalled. “I felt empty, totally empty . . . even in this moment of triumph and great happiness, deep down I felt my sadness.”

It was a moment that changed his life. That night, as the nation celebrated and the prime minister, Harold Wilson, joined the squad at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, west London, Greaves and his wife, Irene, were on a flight to Majorca. “I thought, ‘It’s over, I’m not part of it; let’s get out of here. I felt numb.”

Within a few years of the most famous day in English sporting history, Greaves had become a hopeless alcoholic, living apart from his family in a flat and selling women’s knitwear on a market stall to make enough money to drink. “I was drunk from 1972 to 1977,” he recalled. “On occasions I would drink up to 20 pints of beer in the course of a day, go home, then drink a whole bottle of vodka before going to bed.”

Greaves scored 266 league and cup goals for Tottenham, and also had spells at Chelsea and West Ham, holding the record for most top-flight goals in English football, with a total of 357

Greaves was reluctant to draw a direct link between the crushing disappointment of missing out on World Cup glory and his later problems, but the regrets lingered even when he had got his life back on track and launched a career as a TV pundit. He played for England three more times after the 1966 World Cup and finished his international career with 44 goals in 57 appearances, a remarkable ratio.

Wherever Greaves played he scored goals in abundance: 422 in 602 senior league and cup appearances. Geoffrey Green, the Times football correspondent, called him “the Fagin of the penalty area, the arch-pickpocket of goals.” Greaves could score spectacular goals, but more often his anticipation, superb balance and devastating speed over a short distance took him into the right position. “When he slipped the ball into the goal it was as silent as someone closing the door of a Rolls-Royce,” wrote Green.

The son of Jim, a guard on the District Line, and Mary, James Peter Greaves was born in East Ham in 1940 but lived until he was 10 in Dagenham after the family home was bombed when he was six weeks old. In 1950 Jim was promoted to driver on the Central Line and the family moved to a new estate in Hainault, north-east London; summer holidays were spent hop-picking in Kent.

Greaves was a wiry child and, although he was academically bright, sport proved his forte; street football played with a tennis ball developed his ball skills. He went to Kingswood Secondary School in Dagenham and knew that he wanted to be a professional footballer by his mid-teens — he was captain of the school team, as well as head boy. His careers officer told him: “That’s a very dodgy business. You should get a secure job.”

Through a friend, his father arranged an interview for a job as a compositor at The Times, but Greaves Jr was spotted playing for Essex Schoolboys by a scout from Chelsea, and at 15, after a season in which he scored 122 goals for the youth team, Jimmy Greaves was signed as an apprentice on £8 a week — £7 in the summer — working initially as an office boy at Stamford Bridge.

He scored on his first-team debut against Tottenham in 1957, aged 17 — “The finest first-ever League game I have seen from any youngster,” wrote Charles Buchan, the former England international turned journalist — and the next month he scored twice on his debut for the England Under-23 side against Bulgaria.

That first season he married Irene Barden at Romford register office. They had a son, Jimmy Jr, who died of pneumonia in infancy, and with Greaves searching for new horizons in the wake of Jimmy Jn’s death he moved to AC Milan, although almost as soon as he had signed the deal he tried to back out of it.

He stood to earn a £130 basic weekly wage, as opposed to £20 at Chelsea — but it was an ill-judged move. He struggled with the language, missed home and longed for English cuisine. Nor was he enamoured of the monkish behaviour expected of footballers in Italy, where curfews and closed training camps were the norm. He loathed the disciplinarian manager, Nereo Rocco: “At best he was manic, and at worst he appeared to have all the mental stability of Caligula.”

Despite the suffocating defensive tactics, Greaves scored nine goals in 14 appearances before returning to England in 1961 to join Tottenham. They reached the FA Cup final against Burnley that season; Greaves predicted he would find the net inside five minutes. He scored after three and Tottenham won.

These were Greaves’s peak years. In 1963 he helped Tottenham become the first British side to lift a European trophy as they thrashed Atletico Madrid 5-1 in the European Cup-Winners’ Cup final in Rotterdam, with Greaves scoring twice in what he described as “the greatest game I ever played in”. In 1967 Tottenham won the FA Cup again, beating Chelsea.

In 1962 Greaves had gone to the World Cup in Chile, but a forgettable tournament meant that Walter Winterbottom was replaced as manager by Alf Ramsey, who was said to not appreciate Greaves’s penchant for a quip and his relaxed demeanour on and off the field. Early in Ramsey’s tenure Greaves was among a number of players who, after a night’s illicit drinking in London, came back to their hotel rooms to find their passports on their pillows — a reminder that they were dispensable.

Despite their sometimes uneasy relationship, Greaves was integral to Ramsey’s plans for the 1966 World Cup, but in the final group game a challenge from a French player left a gash on his shin that needed 14 stitches, ruling him out of the quarter-final against Argentina. “Towards the end of the game I thought I’d got a hole in my boot because I was aware that my sock was soaking,” he wrote. “It was only when I bent down to do some running repairs that I realised it was soaked with blood and the entire sock was crimson.”

At the team hotel, Hendon Hall, having had his wound sewn up, “I realised there and then that, should England reach the final, I wouldn’t be playing. In the darkness of my room I realised my World Cup was over.”

By the end of the 1960s his lifestyle was getting the better of him. He had developed a taste for alcohol in Italy, when loneliness and the inability to socialise in a foreign language had led him to seek solace in the bottle. In the 1969-70 season he was appearing more infrequently for Tottenham, and he moved to West Ham.

He helped the east London club to stay up that season, but his drinking was affecting his physical condition — “Because I was not enjoying my football, I was becoming anxious, agitated and downcast” — and he retired at the end of the season, a decision he would later rue (in the second half of the decade he appeared for several non-League sides). “I not only left football, I departed from life and family living.”

He spent the remainder of the 1970s in a stupor. He had business interests, including a haulage company and a packing firm with his brother-in-law, as well as sports shops, clothes shops, travel agencies and a country club. But as his drinking got worse, his marriage broke up. “I can recall very little of this dark period in my life,” he wrote, “but have been assured that I turned into a monster.” For several years he was in and out of nursing homes and spent the last months of 1977 in a psychiatric hospital.

About to be outed by the People as an alcoholic, he decided to give the newspaper an interview, the catalyst for his first visit to Alcoholics Anonymous. He sobered up in 1978, moved back in with his wife and in 1979 began writing a football column for The Sun, which continued into the 21st century.

Having regained his sanity and a place in normal society, in the 1980s he made another name for himself as a charismatic sports commentator with ITV. He enjoyed a 10-year stint alongside Ian St John on the Saturday lunchtime show Saint and Greavsie. It was a masterful double act: Greaves’s earthy, cockney wit complemented the demeanour of the cheery, Scottish straight man “Saint”, who was regularly reduced to fits of uncontrollable laughter by Greaves’s everyman observations. It introduced a new generation to the former Tottenham star and also marked his rehabilitation and triumph over his affliction.

With its verdant analysis and knockabout humour, the show became mandatory viewing for any football fan before they went to see their team on a Saturday afternoon. When it was cancelled in 1992 it made front-page news. Greaves — whose phrase “It’s a funny old game” had become legendary, although he maintained that it was invented by Harry Enfield, impersonating him on Spitting Image — continued for a while as a football pundit in the Midlands.

He continued to be known for his chirpy jocularity and love of French cigarettes, and later lived in Chelmsford. In 2000, along with the other members of the 1966 World Cup squad who did not play in the final and so had never received medals, Greaves was finally given his by Gordon Brown at a reception in Downing Street.

In 2012 he had a minor stroke, then a more debilitating stroke in 2015. In September 2017 he and Irene remarried at a church near their Essex home. Despite his condition, she told a reporter, “He was able to say most of what he needed to say, and the reverend helped him when he couldn’t.”

Irene survives him, along with their four children: Lynn married and raised a family; Mitzi works for a care home (her son, James Robinson, became a non-League footballer and played in Australia); Danny followed his father into the professional game, playing for Southend United and Cambridge United, then going into non-League management with Witham Town; Andy also tried to make his way in football and was on the books at Southend, but went on to set up an IT company.

Although Jimmy Greaves missed out on what would surely have been the greatest day of his career, he was held in as much affection by the British public as if he had been on the Wembley pitch. “I was one of the few people who believed we would win the World Cup,” he once said. “What I never ever thought was we would win it without me being in the side.”

Jimmy Greaves, footballer and broadcaster, was born on February 20, 1940. He died onSeptember 19, 2021 aged 81


His life was Uncannily like gascoignes

To a point He turned his life around.


Great piece

Bernard Tapie obituary
Scandal-ridden French tycoon, politician and, eventually, jailbird who famously bought Adidas and the Marseilles football club

Bernard Tapie holds an Adidas shoe on an election campaign at a market in March 1992

Bernard Tapie, charismatic rogue, was the most colourful and extraordinary public figure in France of his time. By turns or simultaneously, he was a business tycoon, pop singer, left-wing politician, minister, jailbird, brilliant football manager, star TV presenter and actor in feature films and plays.

In the 1980s he became an idol of yuppies as the showman entrepreneur who took over moribund firms, gave them new life, and made millions. In two national opinion polls in 1992, he came top in one as the person most people under 30 wanted to be president; in the other, as the man French women most wanted to go to bed with. He had good looks, a winning smile and a witty outspokenness that thrilled his public. His powers of persuasion helped him to win big loans from banks for his business ventures. And he became a friend and protégé of President Mitterrand, who was fascinated by his self-confident bravura and for some years prevented inquiries into his shadier practices.

But then the storm broke. Tapie had built up the feeble football club Marseilles into France’s best. Later he was charged with bribing its opponents and embezzling 101 million francs of its money, and for this and other offences was given several jail sentences. One was for hitting a policeman: he was often unruly. Yet even when disgraced, many people still admired him. His life was one long confidence trick, epitomising the corrupt climate of that period.

Bernard Roger Tapie was a self-made man, born in the working-class Paris suburb of Le Bourget, the son of a domestic heating technician. He did badly at school, then tried without success to be a singer, footballer and racing cyclist, though his team, La Vie Claire, would later win the Tour de France twice.

Having raised money to start a business he began to buy up failing companies. He said that his aim was to revive them and thus create new jobs. In some cases he did so. In others, he stripped their assets and let them collapse. He grew rich, bought a 75m yacht, Phocea, and in 1990 was able to acquire for a rumoured £250 million the faltering German sportswear giant Adidas.

Tapie had never thought of entering politics, but Mitterrand talked him into it, first persuading him in 1989 to duel with Jean-Marie Le Pen, the National Front leader, in a televised debate. Tapie brilliantly defeated his skilful opponent, thus winning hordes of fans on the left. He became a non-aligned deputy for the Marseilles area, and in 1992 was named minister for urban affairs. He had to resign when the first of the many financial scandals blew up, but soon he was reappointed. In this period he proposed a scheme for youth employment, another for training immigrants.

In 1986 Tapie had bought the Marseilles club. He acquired star players; also some star managers such as Franz Beckenbauer, but few of these stayed long, for Tapie would interfere in training as if he himself were manager, telling the players what to do. He was passionate about the team, which won five French championships and in 1993 beat AC Milan to take the European Cup, a first for France. Tapie was lauded in Marseilles and across the country. “It is my trophy, I won it myself,” he said with typical self-effacement.

Then trouble began. Tapie had earlier taken a huge loan from the state-owned Crédit Lyonnais to finance his ventures; but when the bank ran into heavy trouble, it tried to reclaim his debt of 1.2 billion francs. He was evasive, so in 1994 (by which time he had been forced to sell his stake in Adidas) the bank won a court order to freeze his priceless collection of Louis XV furniture. A bizarre saga ensued, when bailiffs came to his Paris mansion at dawn to take the antiques, but found his own lorry about to cart them away. In the resulting chase, some of the booty was seized. Tapie, furious, was arrested for insulting the police.

Barely a month later, with Mitterrand’s backing, Tapie stood in the European elections at the head of his own small party, Energie Radicale. To general amazement, this won 12 per cent of the French vote, only 2 per cent less than the Socialists. Polls were now showing Tapie as third favourite for the French presidency. However, the national assembly voted by a huge majority to lift his parliamentary immunity, thus making prosecution easier. In 1995 he went on trial for having arranged for handsome bribes to be paid to members of another football team, Valenciennes, to “play gently” against Marseilles in a French League game just before the European Cup match. Tapie was found guilty, sentenced to eight months in prison, and later given another penalty for embezzling Marseilles’s funds.

With Mitterrand now retired, the French judiciary threw its full weight against Tapie. Among various sentences, he was given six months in prison (plus 12 suspended) for tax evasion, and 30 months suspended for bankruptcy and for misuse of funds regarding his yacht Phocea. Yet always he denied guilt and appealed: he and his lawyers played an elaborate cat-and-mouse game with French justice, using every trick in the legal book to avoid his actually going to prison. Finally he did go inside, for five months, at Marseilles.

By then, he had played a starring role — amusingly, as a lawyer — in a feature film directed by Claude Lelouch, Men, Women, a User’s Manual. In 1999, he appeared on the Paris stage in a version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, playing the Jack Nicholson part of a cunning crook who feigns madness to escape a jail term. Acting, said the cynics, had always been his forte. He also found time to record a duet with a leading rap singer and to appear on a radio chat show as a kind of agony uncle.

Tapie was always a man of complex motives and confused ideas. Could this ruthless tycoon, it was asked, be sincerely a man of the left? With his simple origins he mistrusted the upper-crust world of wealth and power, and he wanted to help the underprivileged: hence his support for youth employment and immigrants. He fought elections on a strongly pro-European platform and called himself a Euro-federalist: hating the French official world, he was keen to see its power whittled down. He was an eager member of the European parliament, which repaid him by voting not to lift his immunity, even after the assembly in Paris had done so.

He left his first wife, Michele, in 1970 and is survived by his second wife, Dominique, whom he married in 1987, and by four children, Laurent, Nathalie, Stéphane and Sophie. This year he and Dominique were the victims of a violent burglary at their home in Combs-la-Ville, near Paris, during which he was badly beaten up and valuables were stolen.

His legal battle with Crédit Lyonnais and the French state continued to rage. Tapie claimed he had been cheated on the sale price of Adidas and in 2008 won a controversial settlement of €403 million which, it was later alleged, President Sarkozy and allies had pushed for to end the case. The payout from public coffers caused outrage and in 2015 he was ordered to repay it after a court found he had in fact not been defrauded. The appeals process is continuing.

Tapie would always claim that his woes were due to an establishment plot against him, an unholy alliance of politicians, police and judiciary. He could use his charm and his oratory to make out that he was doing brilliantly well, when really he was on the verge of disaster. The left was indulgent to him, but the right and the business world resented him. Le Figaro’s editor, Franz-Olivier Giesbert, called him “the prince of swagger, a loud-mouthed guttersnipe”.

Yet for many ordinary French people he was a folk hero, especially in Marseilles, “the city of his heart”.

Bernard Tapie, businessman, politician and showman, was born on January 26, 1943. He died of stomach cancer on October 3, 2021, aged 78


By God there’s a man who put a lot into his stay on earth

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Trevor Hemmings obituary

Bricklayer turned billionaire businessman whose sprawling empire included three Grand National winners and Preston North End

Hemmings with his 2011 National winner Ballabriggs and the horse’s trainer, Donald McCain Jr

Hemmings with his 2011 National winner Ballabriggs and the horse’s trainer, Donald McCain Jr


Tuesday October 12 2021, 5.00pm BST, The Times

Trevor Hemmings and Fred Pontin tossed a coin to decide whose turn it was to cook breakfast. “I endlessly seemed to end up with the frying pan, until I realised the coin always came down heads because it was double-headed,” said Hemmings, who built the entrepreneur’s holiday camp at Southport, on the northwest coast.

Pontin found a kindred spirit in this former bricklayer. “Fred had a daughter but no son and in a way I filled that role,” said Hemmings, who went on to own thousands of pubs and millions of square feet of property. His other interests included hotels, betting businesses, an ice-cream company, the wallpaper manufacturer John Wilman and a stake in Lingfield racecourse.

In 1987 Hemmings had led a management buyout of Pontins, which then passed through various hands. He bought the company back in 2000 and went on to help bring its upmarket rival Center Parcs to Britain, while cementing a relationship with the brewer Scottish & Newcastle that led to him being at one point S&N’s single largest shareholder.

His mentor also planted the idea of owning racehorses. “In 1971 [Pontin] won the Grand National with Specify, although I didn’t go to Aintree because he made me work that day,” Hemmings recalled. “He ribbed me, ‘You’ll never have a National winner’. ”

If Pontin’s remark was intended as a challenge, it worked. In 2005 Hemmings’s horse Hedgehunter, ridden by Ruby Walsh in its owner’s yellow, green and white colours, won the National by 14 lengths. Hemmings owned almost 100 horses, including two more Grand National winners, Ballabriggs in 2011, ridden by Jason Maguire, and Many Clouds in 2015, ridden by Leighton Aspell. Hemmings was often seen at race meetings with Zara Tindall, the Queen’s granddaughter, who won a silver medal on his horse High Kingdom in the team equestrian event at the 2012 London Olympics.

Many of Hemmings’s business interests were in the northwest. In 1998 he paid £74 million for a large chunk of Blackpool town centre, including the Tower and Winter Gardens, in the expectation that the resort would be granted a licence for a “super-casino” bringing in millions of extra visitors. The plan was later scrapped, and in 2010 he sold much of the property to the local council.

He was a lifelong supporter of Preston North End FC, and had been a director since the 1970s. In June 2010 he acquired a controlling interest in the club after HM Revenue & Customs served it with a winding up petition. Until the pandemic he was a regular at the club’s Deepdale ground, frequently dipping his hand in his pocket to keep it financially stable. They are currently 18th in the EFL Championship.

Hemmings’s own league-table position was No 155 in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, which estimated his wealth at £1.1 billion. “It is a comfortable feeling to know that, when you write a cheque, it will not bounce,” he said of his fortune. “I like to keep banging on, having a go. That is what life is about. If you give a lot to life, you will get a lot back. I love every second of it.”

He told The Sunday Independent that he owed his business success to being “very disciplined”, adding: “You have to make sure you don’t waste any time. Use every hour.” On another occasion he said that the key was in mingling with customers. “You will not see me in the restaurants at Lingfield or Ayr [racecourses],” he said. “I queue up at the chippy. You have to learn about the real people and understand their requirements.”

Trevor James Hemmings was born in 1935 in Woolwich, southeast London, the son of Montague “Monty” Hemmings, who worked at the Royal Ordnance munitions factory, and his wife Lilian (née West). “They were Mr and Mrs Ordinary — but exceptional,” he said. “Dad was lovely and Mum would scrub her front step until it was spotless. I’m like that to this day — always wash and wipe after my meal and people who work for me say, ‘Stop doing the job I’m paid to do’. ”

The London Blitz began in September 1940. “I clearly remember the barrage balloons in the sky, getting locked into the Anderson shelter and everyone going into big air-raid shelters in the Tube station to escape the bombs,” he told Racing Post . “I can recall climbing mountains of rubble with other kids and rows of houses that had just disappeared. We lost a lot of family, including my Uncle Paddy.”

With Zara Tindall at the 2016 Grand National meeting

With Zara Tindall at the 2016 Grand National meeting


His father transferred to the Royal Ordnance factory at Chorley in Lancashire, and the family settled in nearby Leyland. “I soon dropped my Cockney accent or I wouldn’t have survived,” he said. He attended a school known as Turpin Green Bridge, later naming another of his horses Greenbridge in recognition of those formative days.

Even then, he was a workaholic in short trousers. “I had two paper rounds and sometimes three, which meant being a bit late for school sometimes,” he said. “By the age of ten I was working as a petrol-pump attendant, by 11 I had a grocery round for Harry Hindle in Bent Lane with a horse and cart. The horse was called Klondike and every Saturday there would be a 10lb sack of spuds for Mrs Smalley in Golden Hill. I worked anywhere I could to make a shilling, skimming the top off the milk in a dairy and raising day-old chicks on warm bags of cement.”

As a child he travelled to London alone, visiting his mother’s parents. “I’d be put on the train to Euston wearing a tag with my name on and off I’d go. Sometimes I’d be on the netting above the seats where the luggage went,” he recalled. “You’d be in trouble if you sent a young kid off on his own like that now. London was not as it is now. Everyone pulled together.”

He left secondary modern school aged 15. “There were four choices,” he said. “Leyland Motors, which I did not like because I would be among all the people I was at school with; the ordnances, which I did not like because of my parents; the weaving mills, which were in decline; or become a policeman.”

Instead he wiped grease off diesel trains while taking a business studies course at night school. He signed up for a four-year apprenticeship as a bricklayer, with day-release at Lancashire College. In 1955 he married Eve Rumney, who survives him with their three sons, Peter, Craig and Patrick, and a daughter Carole, who are all involved in the family enterprises. Craig has been chairman of Preston North End since 2019.

In 1960 Hemmings started his first house-building business, Hemmings and Kent, with a capital of only £12. “In the northwest then, most people lived in rented accommodation and you had to make them see that buying a house was not just about the debt they took on,” he said. He sold it a decade later to Christian Salvesen, the Scottish whaling company, for £1.5 million and became a director of Whelmar, the group’s housing division. Within three years he had left to start Ambrose, his second house-building company. He again sold up, with the homes going to Barratt and the remainder of the business to Pontin, whose right-hand man he became until leading the management buyout in 1987.

For all his high-profile businesses, Hemmings was an enigma. “Trevor is not driven by the kind of ego that needs to be satisfied by seeing himself in the papers,” one associate said. “There is a perceived strength in not being available. He is far from ostentatious. He could be having a pie and a pint in a pub and you wouldn’t know who he was.”

His philanthropic work was similarly low-key, and included funding a £300,000 centre for victims of rape and sexual assault at the Royal Preston Hospital in 2002. He was also vice-president of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers (now the Carers Trust).

A spry man with a twinkling eye, he had been diabetic for more than 40 years and latterly was dogged by ill health. “There were spells in a wheelchair and then on a stick,” he said after surgery for an ulcer on his foot. He lived at Ballaseyr Stud on the Isle of Man, describing the estate as “a good place to hide away” and enjoying the company of his dogs. As well as the horses he kept a “gleaming fantasy land” collection of vintage Rolls-Royces.

Despite such trappings, Hemmings never lost his love of a cooked breakfast, still grilling the bacon and frying the eggs himself. He was rarely seen without his cloth cap, which was the name of another horse who, ridden by Tom Scudamore, started as favourite in this year’s Grand National but failed to finish. “I have my breakfast wearing it,” he said of the cap. “It stands for the working man in the north. And I’ve always felt like one of them.”

Trevor Hemmings, CVO, businessman and racehorse owner, was born on June 11, 1935. He died of undisclosed causes on October 11, 2021, aged 86


Sound. He was a ruthless enough businessman in his hey day by the sounds of it. He bought a stud farm local to me in the 90s and spent a lot of time around here for a while. There was even a parade for Hedgehunter at the time I think!! Sold the stud a few years back.

He also bought a local hotel and looked for planning for pool and gym etc… Couldnt get planning in time the council stalled on it and by time they did something the recession was in full swing. He knocked the hotel and put a padlock on the gate. Shambles by the local council they didn’t work with him


PNEFC and Blackpool FC despise each other. He’d have had a chortle about owning Blackpool town centre, though the phrase from sting springs to mind “what good is our used up world, and how could it be worth having?”

As an aside, the death of Paddy Maloney made the main evening news headlines on BBC Radio 4 yesterday. There’s very very few people would make that.

Did they mention Paddy Moloney’s death at all?


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He got an obituary in the Torygraph as well. As did Mervyn Taylor.

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