By Nicola Clark
Veteran newspaper man Richard Alexander Clark has died suddenly aged 57, after a career spanning more than 40 years.
He was a talented all-round journalist of the old school, who operated as a reporter, editor and designer.
He started his career aged 16 as a cub reporter on the Tooting Gazette, which was printed on an ancient flatbed press.
He quickly demonstrated a sharp reporting sense and news judgement and, during the ’60s and ’70s, worked on several south London newspaper groups, including the South Western Star and South London Press and as a news editor for the South London News Group.
At the same time, he was shifting on Fleet Street and was a legendary overnighter on the Standard and the then Evening News.
In 1975 he joined Albright & Wilson (chemical manufacturers) before moving to BP as communications and publications manager, where he travelled extensively in western and eastern Europe, extending his expertise and winning numerous awards, before taking early retirement in 1994.
It was not long, however, before he switched effortlessly back into newspapers as a sub-editor, where his skills were in demand from several national newspapers, including the Standard, the Daily Mail and The Guardian, right up until the time of his death from a heart attack at his home in Carshalton Village on 18 February.
Richard, a consummate professional, had humour, a lively wit and was a highly respected and popular figure.
He was a born newspaper man, loved cricket, jazz and literature and was a lifelong supporter of Arsenal FC.
An evening or lunchtime spent in his company was never less than entertaining. His untimely death was profoundly felt by all who knew him.
Richard, a devoted father, is survived by his children, Nicola and Dan, and his former wife, Alison.