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Newspaperman turned BBC radio manager dies aged 72

A former local radio station manager who started his career in the regional press has died aged 72.

John Collard, left, was a former managing editor of BBC Radio Stoke and also helped launched Radio Northampton.

The son of a delivery driver for the Birmingham Post and Mail, he began his career began with the Birmingham-based Caters News Agency and on the Leicester Mercury newspaper.

He joined the BBC at Radio Leicester in 1972 and spent eight years there before being recruited as programme organiser to launch Radio Northampton in 1980.

In the early 1980s, he was sent on attachment to the Falkland Islands broadcasting service to train Patrick Watts, the station’s only full-time broadcaster.

Patrick’s subsequent broadcasts during the Argentinian invasion of the Falklands were seen as testament to John’s skills as a trainer.

Shortly afterwards in 1985 he achieved his ambition to run his own station, being appointed manager at Radio Stoke.

After retiring in 2004 he gained an Open University degree in humanities with history and devoted some of his spare time to caring for retired greyhounds.

John is survived by his wife Ann, daughter Lucy, grandson Jack and brother Bob.

A fuller obituary to John, written by his former colleague Owen Bentley, has appeared in The Guardian.

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  • July 30, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    I was so sorry to hear of John’s sad death;I owe much to him because John was news editor at BBC Radio Leicester when I first started there as a trainee in 1970..he was a huge help and taught me all I needed to know and much more.

    I would like to express my sympathy to John’s family and if Hold the Front Page has his wife’s address I would be grateful if it could be passed on.

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