A journalist whose career spanned 60 years on newspapers in a Merseyside town has died at the age of 86.
William ‘Bert’ Traverse was editor of the St Helens Reporter in the 80s when the Johnston Press title was owned by the Gentry family. He had previously worked on the St Helens Gazette and the St Helens Newspaper.
He died at Whiston Hospital on Sunday 1 April after a stroke.
Denis Whittle, a friend of William’s and former sports writer at the rival St Helens Star, described him as a ‘veteran wordsmith’ who wrote under the nom-de-plume ‘Boffin’ when covering the local Saints Rugby League team.
Said Denis: “With pen in hand, Bert’s specialities were Saints, where he enjoyed first name terms with the players such as captain Jimmy Stott.
“Traverse was also in the Wembley press box when the Knowsley Road squad lifted the Challenge Cup for the first time in defeating Halifax in 1956.
“Bert’s ‘You May Like To Know’ feature was a riveting read, in particular for more mature Reporter devotees in that it embraced the complete spectrum of town affairs.”
William leaves his wife Felicia, son John, daughter-in-law Ruth and grandson Jamie.
A funeral service will be held at St. Ann’s Church, Rainhill, Merseyside, on Friday 13 April at 11am.