Bob Pryce obituary


My former colleague Bob Pryce was one in all a number of journalists of his era who liked sport with out being wholly obsessive about it, and located their pure dwelling on the Guardian sports activities desk.

Bob, who has died aged 74, joined the paper in 1986 and instantly discovered a distinct segment by overlaying the American sports activities that, with soccer at its nadir, had been nibbling away at its pre-eminence in Britain. The nationwide recreation bounced again; fortunately he was equally at dwelling with that, and for the following 20 years was an everyday member of the Guardian’s troupe of soccer writers. He wrote his first report on the day Wimbledon made their debut within the high division. “So that is the massive time,” it started.

His prose was flowing and witty, with occasional wild flights of fancy. When Studying had been climbing the ladder, he likened them to Shaolin monks: “unprepossessing and unthreatening, but capable of stroll by means of partitions”. He loved the previous Saturday for Monday match stories that allowed time for rumination, and he additionally edited entertaining soccer diaries.

His principal job, nevertheless, was within the workplace as a subeditor. “He had lots of quirky data,” mentioned the then sports activities editor Mike Averis, “and the writers felt in secure arms when he had their copy. He was very well-liked and really a lot at dwelling on the Guardian of that point.”

Bob was born in London, the eldest of three sons of David Pryce, an RAF wing-commander who in wartime was in control of accounts, and Joyce (nee Godfrey) whom his father had met in a bomb shelter at an airfield. In peacetime, Pryce senior had two postings to Singapore, so younger Robert was despatched to board at an early age, ending up at Shrewsbury faculty. He didn’t benefit from the expertise a lot, however was a eager if restricted sportsman.

Bob’s father purchased a lodge in mid-Wales on retirement, and the entire household mucked in. Bob had one yr at Keele College earlier than making his manner in journalism, together with stints on Fruit Trades Journal, Desk Tennis journal, Time Out and the Instances. He then spent the following 23 years on the Guardian, interrupted solely by an alternate cope with the Age in Melbourne; his final three working years had been spent on the Guardian enterprise desk.

One factor he acquired from his schooldays was a long-lasting affection for Shrewsbury City soccer membership. In later years he and his youngest brother, Tony, adopted the group around the nation; for dwelling video games, their journeys all the time concerned time-honoured rituals, beginning with the 09.43 from Euston. Earlier than that, he had been current in 2000 when Shrewsbury escaped relegation from the League on the final gasp. The Guardian let him throw away neutrality: “We acquired on the scrumpy and didn’t return dwelling till midday yesterday, bleary, unshaven and relieved.”

His final years had been blighted by fibrositis. He’s survived by his brothers, Jonathan and Tony, three nephews and a niece.


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