A former weekly newspaper editor who became a motoring journalist was killed in a road collision on his return home from a car launch event in Spain at the age of 75.
John Connor, left, was a former editor of the Solihull News who went on to become a freelance journalist, specialising in pre-launch test drives for various UK titles, including a number of Trinity Mirror newspapers.
He was a member of the Midland Group of Motoring Writers, where he was the membership secretary, and had previously worked as an editor for a motoring industry newspaper and magazine. He was also a member of the Society of Editors.
Before becoming a journalist, John worked for many years in the press office of vehicle manufacturing company British Leyland.
John, who lived near Solihull, died in a motorway accident last Thursday after his car was crushed between two lorries on the slip road off the M4 towards the M25.
He was at the wheel of his own car, having just collected it from a hotel car park, and was minutes into his journey home when the tragedy struck.
A tribute has been paid to him by Ian Donaldson, chairman of the MGMW, who had driven with John at the Nissan press launch in Madrid.
He said: “He had been full of laughter, talking with joy about the Christmas he spent with his grandchildren. His passing is an enormous shock.”
Tributes have also been paid by fellow motoring journalists on Twitter, with Tim Barnes-Clay describing him as a “kind man and great motoring journalist”.
And Phil Huff tweeted: “Devastated to hear of the death of John Connor, one of motoring’s nicest people. Was an honour to share cars with him.
“John was so supportive of me from day one. Gutted I’ll not get the chance to repay that belief.”
John’s wife Veronica died last year and he is survived by their two children, Michael and Clair.
His funeral details have not yet been announced.