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Former daily news editor known for ‘sense of fun’ dies aged 89

Bill WithersA former regional daily news editor who spent 25 years with the newspaper has died aged 89.

Tributes have been paid to Herbert William Withers, known as Bill, who spent a quarter of a century with the Nottingham Post.

Bill, left, reported on ice hockey and golf during his time with the Post before progressing through the ranks to become news editor.

He married fellow reporter, Mollie, before moving into public relations and working for Nottinghamshire County Council for 14 years.

Bill’s son Tim, 56, told the Post: “Everyone who knew Bill is quick to describe him as a gentleman. His gentle humour, wit, wisdom and sense of fun were noteworthy, aligning with an even temper which ensured that he was valued highly by friends and family.

“His Christian faith was a source of comfort, peace and inspiration to him in later years. Mollie died in 2015 and Bill was grief-stricken, having just celebrated a 60-year marriage, while also endeavouring to be positive about what the future held for him.”

Bill grew up in London and spent time in the military before moving into the newspaper industry.

His dad Joseph had also been a reporter on the Manchester Guardian, specialising in racing.

Bill ordered copies of the Post and The Guardian to his home in Calverton, Nottinghamshire, until the day he died.

Away from journalism, he was known for his support of Nottingham Forest Football Club, for whom he held a season ticket between from 1974 and April this year.

Tim added: “His allegiance to Nottingham never wavered, and he made the journey to the Post for many years, then afterwards to the Nottinghamshire County Council building where he subsequently worked in PR by the side of the Trent, and of course opposite [Forest’s stadium] the City Ground.

“Bill became a steadfast Forest supporter, seeing their rise through to halcyon days, and enjoyed seeing world stars jogging past his window in the [former manager, Brian] Clough era, along the Trent.

“While working for the Nottinghamshire County Council PR team, especially in social services, Bill met a number of household names such as Barbara Castle, Princess Margaret and Brian Clough.”

Bill, who had been unwell with cancer and pneumonia, is survived by three children, 15 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.