Tributes from across Fenland for Roger Green

Memories of former editor and Wisbech stalwart

Tributes have been pouring in for Roger Green who died in a crash on the A47 near Wisbech on Monday.

Educated at Wisbech Grammar School,he joined the editorial staff of the Wisbech Standard in 1950 and after two years National Service as a shorthand instructor in the RAF, he became sports editor for 11 years and then editor for 21 years.

He was born in Ely and he succeeded his father as editor of the Wisbech Standard. He took early retirement in the 1980s when the Thompson group took over the Sharman empire.

Brian Asplin, former editor of the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard, is one of Mr Green's many former colleagues.

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He said: 'Roger was a genuine lover and supporter of Wisbech. I worked with him during his 21 years as editor and he always fought for what he thought was good for the town. He was in charge of the paper during its most successful period.

'He was a good leader and a good ambassador for the paper and the people. He continued that when he became a successful councillor. Being a newspaper man, he shunned the headlines and worked diligently and gained a well deserved reputation.'

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Mr Asplin said: 'One big decision that absolutely staggered me was when Bowthorpe Maternity Hospital was threatened with closure, and we were looking for something special to do in the battle to save it. Roger called with an idea - to have a picture on the front page of a baby being born. I told him it couldn't be done, the hospital wouldn't allow it. But we did it, and it was superb.

'We had calls from the national press and it was the only thing people were talking about in the pubs.'

Mr Green was chairman of Wisbech Town Council's general purposes and finance committee for the past nine years and for six years was leader of the council.

Erbie Murat, clerk to Wisbech Town Council, said: 'I have known him for four years and it's been an absolute pleasure. We used to meet up every week. He's a Wisbech man through and through and he's served the town all his life. He was furiously in love with Wisbech.

'The truth is that he paid attention. I know it sounds crass to say, but as a politician these days, that's rare. When you sat down and talked to him, you knew he was listening. He was a pleasure to work with and he had some great ideas for Wisbech. His ideas will be enduring and Wisbech will continue to grow and develop in the way that he was hoping for. That will be his legacy.'

Mr Green was chairman of Fenland District Council's planning committee and on the Golden Age Committee which is earning national recognition for its work among the over-60s.

He was also founder chairman and current president of Fenland Youth Soccer League and was patron of Fenland Branch of the Royal Society of St George.

He also served on Wisbech Chamber of Commerce Committee, Wisbech Tourism Group, Fenland Twinning Committee, Wisbech Neighbourhood Forum; Wisbech Regeneration and Development Trust and Wisbech Environmental Liaison Group.

In his younger days Mr Green gained his county colours for athletics, played football for Hereford United, Upwell Town and Wisbech Rovers. He also boxed as an amateur and enjoyed playing cricket and badminton.

He was a director of Wisbech Town FC for 30 years before becoming vice-president, and for 13 years he was a professional talent scout for Reading FC.

John Petch, Wisbech Town FC vice-president, added: 'He's a man of integrity and a man who always did what he thought was best for the people concerned. He's played an absolutely vital role in the club over the years in a number of different roles.

'It's been a very sad summer for the club as we've lost two stalwarts in Bert Roseberry and Roger. Both were great men and long suffering supporters. We can never thank them enough for what they've done.

'I'm in a state of shock – they were more than just football associates, they became my friends.Today's a very sad day for the football club and the thoughts of everybody at Wisbech Town is with Margaret and Roger's family at this time.'

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