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Highfield leads tributes as stroke claims JP director aged 52

George BrittainA senior executive at Johnston Press described as a “passionate newspaper man” by colleagues has died aged 52 after suffering a stroke.

Tributes have been paid to George Brittain, left, who was group publishing director at the regional newspaper company.

George had spent the past 10 years with the publisher, working in a variety of roles based in Sheffield, Portsmouth and Sunderland.

He had been in his current job since November 2016, and was responsible for JP titles in Yorkshire, the North-West, North-East, Northern Ireland and its Scottish weeklies.

JP chief executive Ashley Highfield said: “Those fortunate enough to have worked closely with George, like myself, can tell you that he was a tenacious, principled, hard-working and a passionate newspaper man, respected and liked by colleagues and suppliers alike – and that he will be very much missed.”

George joined JP in February 2005, and spent almost three years as divisional newspaper sales director for its Northeast Press division, based in Sunderland.

He then moved to work as general manager of Portsmouth daily The News, before becoming group logistics director at Sheffield in October 2009.

In April 2015, his role changed to that of print and logistics director, which saw George assume full responsibility for all JP print Operations in Dinnington, Portsmouth and Northern Ireland.

He died on Monday after falling ill last weekend.

Outside of work, George played rugby union for a club called Sheffield Tigers.

A tribute posted on the club’s Facebook page on Tuesday states: “It is great sadness we report the loss of George Brittain who sadly passed away last night due to stroke over the weekend.

“Aged 52, popular player from the 90s, vets player and keen after-match club singer, famous for singing ‘Running Bear’. Dad of Rachel behind the bar.”


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  • October 6, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Very, very sad. George was one of the good guys

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  • October 6, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    He was a good guy, he always made time for a catch up. Very, very sad.

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