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Heart attack claims former weekly editor aged 64

A former editor of a free weekly who spent 40 years working for a regional publisher has died of a heart attack at the age of 64.

Dave Sharp joined the Shropshire Star in 1969 and spent the rest of his career with the Midlands News Association, including a spell as editor of the Telford Journal.

At the publisher, he held roles including the chief reporter of the Star’s Shrewsbury office, health correspondent, newsdesk positions and finished his career in 2011 as a sub-editor.

Dave died suddenly at his home in Apley, Telford, from a heart attack earlier this month.

While at the Star, he covered many of the biggest stories in the county, including the murder of Shrewsbury’s Hilda Murrell in 1984 and the subsequent conspiracy theories surrounding her death, and the IRA bombing of Tern Hill in 1989.

Dave was also the Star’s international news taster at the time of the 9/11 terror attacks and was the first in the newsroom to raise the alert about what was happening.

As health correspondent, he covered the controversial building of Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital and the closure of many cottage hospitals.

Retired Star journalist Richard Ewels, who started on the title at the same time as Dave, told the paper: “His forte was the big story.

“On any big story, Dave would be the person you wanted on it, turning his hand to it in almost record time, putting the story together, either reading from his immaculate shorthand in his notepad and phoning it over, or knocking it out on a typewriter in those days. He was in his element in that kind of situation.

“Dave was not keen on traditional sports such as football or cricket – Dave preferred more extreme sports. He took up horse riding, skiing, parachuting, motorcycling and, I believe, deep sea diving, and became accomplished in all.

“His death is shocking news and he will be missed by the many journalists who knew and worked with him.”

Dave leaves wife Kate and three daughters and his funeral will be held at Telford Crematorium on 29 July at noon.

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  • July 20, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    “Chirpy Sharpy” was a news editor’s dream – a man with a contacts book like a BT phone directory, who knew almost every acre of England’s largest inland county and who could sniff out a story while others were discussing football or their golf swing over their first cup of coffee of the day. What’s more, the story would be checked and filed in time for the day’s first edition. He was the consummate provincial journo who would tell anyone he had enjoyed the industry’s best days. RIP Dave, you’ve gone far too early old son..

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