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Tributes paid after death of former weekly editor

Tributes have been paid after the former editor of two weekly papers died at the age of 76.

Dudley Stephens, left, became editor of the Pontypridd & Llantrisant Observer and Rhondda Leader newspapers in 1985 after enjoying a successful career on Fleet Street.

This included working for the Daily Sketch as a Parliamentary correspondent before it merged with the Daily Mail and he also spent time as a reporter with the South Wales Argus and South Wales Echo.

Dudley died last weekend and tributes have been paid to him, with him being described as “quite simply a master of his reporting trade”.

Close friend and former colleague Dave Edwards said: “He was a delightful man who I am proud to have known as a friend. He was a true newspaperman who would fight tooth and nail for any injustice.

“During his time as editor he fought many a campaign and Ponty owes much to his battling qualities down through the years.

“I am so grateful that our friendship remained when we both finished writing our last newspaper story. Being in Dudley’s company was an absolute pleasure.

“He was a brilliant story teller, a good listener and never lost for a witty one-liner. I would tell people that if ever I was a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and I was asked to phone a friend that friend, without question, would be Dudley Stephens.

“Dudley was never one for material wealth. Just as long as he had a book to read, a glass to drink wine out of and a radio to listen to classical music he was in paradise.

“I am so grateful that I was fortunate enough to be at his bedside at the hospital the day before he passed away. Although very frail, he seemed to have found an inner peace and for the last time I was able to enjoy a treasured conversation with him.”

Dennis Gethin, Welsh Rugby Union president and former chief executive with Taff Ely Borough Council, described Mr Stephens as a “consummate journalist who always had the community close to his heart”.

He said: “As a journalist, Dudley was second to none. I deem it a privilege to have known him and I know I speak for many who will miss him.”

Tommy David, former Pontypridd, Wales and British Lions rugby player, said: “It was always a pleasure to be in Dudley’s company. He always gave me great support during my playing days and I know he commanded the greatest respect both as an editor and a gentleman.

Former Rhondda Leader editor Kayrin Davies added: “I had the pleasure of working with Dudley on two separate occasions and he was a good colleague and friend. He was a true gentleman.”

Dudley leaves a widow, Frieda, and sons, Rhys and Guy.


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  • July 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    How sorry I was that Dudley had died. When I was on the subs’ desk at the South Wales Echo, I always looked forward to Dudley’s company, his gentle humour and his amazing stories. He was a true gentleman, a campaigning editor and a superb, professional journalist. My condolences to Frieda,Rhys and Guy.

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  • July 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Sorry to hear about Dudley’s death. He and I worked together in the Ashford office of the Kentish Express in the early 1980s. Dudley was a first-rate journalist. More importantly, he was a nice guy. He, I and the rest of the office spent many an hour in the local hostelries where he’d regale us with his many tales. One of the old school. Condolences to his family.

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