Respected journalist dies (66)

Ralph Marshall
Ralph Marshall

ONE of the most respected Burnley journalists of his generation has died aged 66.

Ralph Marshall was found dead at his home in Roughlee on Friday morning. He had been ill for many years and had a heart condition.

Journalism was his entire world, and during his working life he was renowned for his tenacity and fair-mindedness.

He began as a cub reporter on the Colne Times and went on run the news desks at the Evening Star – later the Lancashire Evening Telegraph – in Burnley and Blackburn.

Mr Marshall’s 30 year career was cut short after he lost his natural voice because of throat cancer. He recovered from the illness, but was devasted at the loss of the career he loved.

He grew up in Nelson and from his earliest days at Bradley Secondary Modern School strived to be a journalist. He was one of very few pupils from the school who went on to higher education, first at Nelson and Colne College and then at Harris College, Preston, now the University of Central Lancashire.

An intensely private and independent man, he had a dry sense of humour and was passionate about sport and both local and national politics. His greatest loves were boxing, which he had followed from being a teenager, and Grand Prix racing.

Mr Marshall’s funeral will be a short celebration of his life at Burnley Crematorium, at 3-40pm on Friday, December 21st.

He leaves his life-long friend, Barbara.