The quiet courage of sports journalist Kevin Hingley has been remembered by his colleagues at the Kent Messenger Group, following his death on February 16, aged 42.
His personal charm had touched everyone who knew him, as had his love and knowledge of sport, and his bravery in facing illness, including two kidney transplants and a final battle against cancer.
Senior editor Bob Bounds said: “I had known Kevin since my early days as a trainee reporter when he was a sub-editor. I was always struck by his calmness and indomitable spirit in the face of the most extreme circumstances. He was a first class journalist, who could have got the top of his profession, but luckily for us he chose to ply his trade locally.
“He was dealt a dreadfully cruel hand but never questioned that nor sought sympathy. We will all gain strength and inspiration simply from having known him. That will be his legacy.”
He had worked at the KM Group’s Canterbury office as a sports reporter and sub-editor since 1989, having joined the company the previous year on the sports desk of the Evening Post and Kent Messenger at Larkfield.
He began his career in journalism with Associated Kent Newspapers in 1979, working at their Margate and Sittingbourne offices.
Mr Hingley, who lived at Westbrook, Thanet, leaves a nine-year-old daughter, Megan, brothers Gary and Malcolm, and his mother, Shirley, who donated one of her own kidneys for his first transplant in 1983.
He later competed several times in the British Transplant Games, in a range of events, winning a clutch of medals.
His badminton partner Paul German, with whom he won doubles gold in 1989 and 1990, and silver in 1991, said: “Kevin was a great sportsman and thoroughly enjoyed competing. He would give anything a go. A second kidney failure led to many more months on dialysis and another transplant, in April, 2001.
Mike Scott, one of Kent’s most experienced journalists, said: “I had the privilege and pleasure of knowing Kevin for many years. He was quiet and unassuming but his somewhat diffident attitude masked a phenomenal knowledge of sport, the people involved in it and the psychology which made them what they are.
“In all the years I knew him I never saw him panic or lose his temper and, although he had an ironic sense of humour, which sometimes came out in his writing, it was never used as a weapon to hurt others. He will be sorely missed.”
Donations in his memory are being made to the renal unit at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.