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Editor who went on to become top City analyst dies aged 72

Rob GoldingA regional business editor who went on to run specialist titles before becoming a City analyst has died aged 72.

Tributes have been paid to Rob Golding, who ran the business desk at the Birmingham Post for part of his career.

Rob, pictured, later edited The Engineer and Car magazine in the early 1980s, also serving as a member of The Guild of Motoring Journalists.

He became a full-time automotive analyst in 1984 and worked on Ford’s acquisition of Jaguar five years later for investment bank SG Warburg.

Paying tribute, fellow Guild of Motoring Journalists member Mark Bursa described it as “one of the deals of the decade” and recalled how Rob was “voted the UK’s top auto analyst on a number of occasions”.

Mark said: “Rob had a remarkable career as both a writer and automotive analyst, and excelled at both disciplines.

“He possessed both a deep knowledge of the automotive industry and the rare gift of turning workaday business or technical topics into sharp, entertaining copy.”

He added: “He pulled no punches either – as a young reporter I remember attending an automotive dinner in the City shortly after the ‘Black Monday’ stock market crash of October 1987, where Rob became embroiled in an animated public argument with dealer group boss Sir Tom Cowie, over whether it was City analysts such as Rob who had caused the crash – a position he defended forcefully and eloquently.

“Rob returned to journalism in the mid-1990s as a freelance writer, deploying his incisive knowledge for outlets such as Automotive Management and Just-Auto.

“It was a joy to watch him in action, extracting detailed information from board-level directors, thanks to his ability to ask the hardcore financial questions they were not expecting on a press trip.”

Rob also wrote a series of books on the history of Mini, most recently in 2007, covering the 50-year history of the brand.

Mark said: “Rob was also great company, both on press trips and socially, where he’d like nothing more than putting the world to rights over a beer and a curry, or better still, a day at The Oval, watching the cricket.

“Sadly, Rob began to be afflicted by early-onset Alzheimer’s, bringing about an early retirement in 2015. it was painful to see such a bright and fearless intellect so cruelly dimmed in such a way.

“The Guild sends condolences to Rob’s wife Shirley, his three daughters, family and friends.”

Rob’s daughter Melanie added: “Alzheimer’s really robbed us all of so much dad and grandad time for which I will always begrudge. He really was a legend.”

Rob died earlier this month and a memorial is to be held at Mycenae House, in Blackheath, London, at 2pm on 3 December.  Donations in his memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Society.