Former Bedfordshire Times editor Neil Roy dies aged 80

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Bedford journalist Neil Roy who worked as editor of The Bedfordshire Times before becoming a reporter for BBC Three Counties Radio has died.

The 80-year-old – who lived in Milton Ernest – also had a long association with Bedford Blues rugby club, who are flying the club's flag at half-mast.

In a post on their page, the club said: “An integral figurehead at Goldington Road for many years and a man synonymous with sport across the town, Neil was perhaps most well-known for his stint as editor of the widely circulated, Bedfordshire Times.

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“Neil spent more than 30 years covering Bedford Blues in various guises, including as commentator for BBC Three Counties Radio and was a former Keeper of the Records. This role meant he was an integral part of the production of both club history books, acting as editor of 100 Years of the Blues released in 1986 and 125 Years of the Blues released in 2011.

Neil RoyNeil Roy
Neil Roy

“Always travelling on the followers’ coaches to Blues away matches, he rarely missed a game over a 40+ year period.

"A legendary journalist, and an extremely humble man, Neil was also an integral part of saving the club in the late 1990s, acting as a key spokesperson to communicate with supporters through his association and connections with all the local news outlets at that time.

"A true Bedfordian who will be sadly missed. The thoughts of everyone associated with Bedford Blues are with Neil’s family and friends at this time.”

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Former Bedfordshire Times colleague Olga Norford said: "So very sad to hear this news. A real gentleman, and a gentle man. Above all Neil was a talented sports writer and author, news journalist and accomplished editor. He was a larger than life character with enormous presence, a sharp mind and even sharper wit.

"Truly one of a kind, someone I had the pleasure of knowing and the honour of working alongside. RIP.”

Louisa Compton, head of news and current affairs at Channel 4, posted on X (formerly Twitter): “Neil Roy was instrumental to my career and taught me so much – taking me under his wing when I knew nothing about journalism.”

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