Geoff Whitten: Sunday Times assistant sports editor

The assistant sports editor of The Sunday Times in the early Seventies has died at the age of 83.

Geoff Whitten was also the newspaper’s pools forecaster for 30 years, during which time he won the Littlewoods trophy for topping the league table on three occasions.

Born in York, he started his journalistic career on the Bromley and West Kent Mercury, leaving to serve as a navigator with the RAF during the Second World War.

As a Pathfinder he won the coveted Distinguished Flying Cross. On his return to journalism he joined the North Shields Evening News, then the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, before moving to London, where he worked for the Sunday Graphic before joining The Sunday Times.

In 1973 he was appointed editor-inchief of the Thomson-owned Celtic Newspapers, and moved his family to live in Abergavenny where he remained until his death.

He suffered a serious heart attack in 1976, but worked hard to become super-fit by cycling and learning to swim.

After his retirement in 1982, he found himself working almost fulltime, for he was much in demand running journalism training courses for the NCTJ, because of his expertise and the high regard in which he was held.

He is survived by his widow Noelle, sons Tim and Chris and grand-daughter Stella.

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