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Sports editor who spent 60 years at regional daily dies aged 86

Eric SnapeA sports editor who spent 60 years with a regional daily has died aged 86.

Tributes have been paid to Eric Snape, left, who was compared by ex-colleagues to Stoke daily The Sentinel’s version of well-known former Manchester Guardian cricket correspondent and chief music critic Neville Cardus.

Eric worked for The Sentinel from 1947, when he left school, until his retirement from the industry 10 years ago.

He served in roles including sports editor, music critic and reporter over the course of his career, with an obituary in the newspaper stating that, like Cardus, “Eric’s cricket match reports and his concert reviews were much loved and sought out by Sentinel readers”.

His son Richard, 55, said: “He started at The Sentinel after he left school. He was a reporter and then deputy sports editor, then he took over as sports editor.

“After he retired as sports editor, he would still turn up on a Saturday to help out. He continued writing for the paper as a music critic. He retired completely in 2007 to spend more time with my mum – they would have been married 63 years this year.

“Even after he retired, he would quite often be approached by people who remembered his writing. He was a caring and kind man. He instilled a love of music and sport in both me and my brother from a very early age. He educated us. He loved cricket. He used to play when he was younger and he also boxed.”

Former Sentinel reporter Dianne Gibbons MBE, who worked with Eric for many years, said: “Eric was a very modest man, quietly spoken – particularly compared to some of the other personalities in the office – but he was very charming. I never saw him lose his temper.

“He had a great love of music and his reviews were always really good to read. He had an extremely wide knowledge. I shall always remember him with affection. He will be very sadly missed.”

Eric died earlier this month after an illness.

His funeral service took place at Bradwell Crematorium, Newcastle-under-Lyme, at 10.40am on Tuesday.