Tributes have been paid to Roger Ryan, left, who in 1977 became the youngest sports editor in the Gravesend and Dartford Reporter’s history before going on to a career in national and international media.
Roger spent time on the sports desk at the Daily Mail before moving abroad in 1994, working for the South China Morning Post, the Hong Kong Standard, and finally the China Daily website.
Roger died on 10 November after a battle with cancer.
Mike Gunnill, who worked alongside Roger during his time in Gravesend, told Kent Online he was “a gentle giant who had time for everyone”.
He said: “I was the young lad from Yorkshire who joined the photography department of the Gravesend and Dartford Reporter. Roger was a sports reporter and one of the first to say hello and welcome.
“Of course he took me for a drink, that’s the way Roger used to do business. He told me about the building in Harmer Street and the people who worked there.
“He worked his way up at the Reporter and became sports editor, but he never lost that love of sport and especially football at Gravesend and Northfleet FC.
Added Mike: “He liked nothing better that to sit in the open stand press box and report on the game he loved. I have seen him soaked to the skin but he still had a smile on his face.
“Long hair always, but a gentle giant who had time for everyone. He was never happier than sitting at Stonebridge Road doing the work he loved. A true professional, who lived the job.”
Roger was a member of the Football Writers’ Association and Sports Journalists’ Association and also played rugby for Old Gravesendians Rugby Club.
Most recently, he lived in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife Helen.