A stalwart of the Society of Editors predecessor organisation, the Guild of British Newspaper Editors, Sandy Clark died on 2 January at a hospital in his home town of Kirkcaldy in Fife.
Sandy, who was 76, was chairman of the Scottish Guild from 1972 to 1974, following in the footsteps of his mentor and friend, the late Bill Livingstone, and in 1978 became the first Scot to be president of the National Guild.
A vigorous and colourful figure with great bonhomie, Sandy was a distinguished president and held a very successful conference in Edinburgh. He was a very committed Guild member throughout his working life and was a close friend of long-serving national secretary Gordon Page and his wife Elizabeth.
His career began in Kirkcaldy when he moved the short distance from the High School to the office of the Fife Free Press, Strachan & Livingstone’s flagship weekly newspaper, as a trainee reporter at the age of 16. He went on to become an accomplished and well-known journalist, locally and nationally, and particularly enjoyed writing about sport.
In the Second World War he served with the Royal Army Service Corps and was a keen footballer, playing as an inside forward for the Command team in the south of England. His goal-scoring exploits resulted in a trial with Brentford FC, but Sandy declined their offer and returned home to journalism.
He became the first editor of the Glenrothes Gazette in 1962, and five years later was appointed editor of the Fife Free Press.
Strachan & Livingstone became part of the embryo Johnston Press group, and Sandy stepped up to become managing editor of the group’s seven titles in Fife and Angus. In 1983 he was awarded honorary life membership of the Guild.
His career ended the following year due to ill health, which plagued him throughout his retirement.
He is survived by his daughter Louise and brother Neill. His former wife Maureen remained a great friend and support to him in his later years, and was with other members of the family at the funeral at Kirkcaldy Crematorium on Friday, 10 January.