The Sun has launched a new sports journalism scholarship in memory of “trailblazer” Vikki Orvice – who became the first female football writer on a UK tabloid newspaper – following her death aged 56.
Orvice spent decades covering football and athletics for The Sun, becoming a role model for young journalists in the process.
British sporting legends were among those to pay tribute to Orvice after her husband, Ian Ridley, announced on Twitter that she had died early this morning, having been “able to defy the cancer no longer”.
My beloved, bright, brilliant wife Vikki Orvice passed away at 5am, able to defy the cancer no longer. I am bereft, empty, but grateful for her life and her love. Those who feel the breath of sadness, sit down next to me.
— Ian Ridley (@IanRidley1) February 6, 2019
Olympic gold-medal winner Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill said Orvice was “a genuinely lovely woman”. She added: “I feel really lucky to have spent so much time with her over the years of my athletic career. Lots of great memories and she will be truly missed. A very sad day.”
Marathon champion Paula Radcliffe said Orvice had been a “true trailblazer for women journalists, and women everywhere”.
Vikki will be greatly missed. A true trailblazer for women journalists, and women everywhere. Lived her life with integrity and courage, always thinking of others and treading her own path. https://t.co/9mKBlZBpqH
— Paula Radcliffe (@paulajradcliffe) February 6, 2019
The Vikki Orvice Memorial Sports Journalism Scholarship is seeking a “young woman who has all the qualities Vikki held so dearly” to join The Sun’s sports team, a spokesperson said.
The successful candidate will be trained up before joining the sports desk.
Sun head of sport Shaun Custis said: “Vikki lived and breathed the job every day and was so proud to work on The Sun’s sports team. There could be no finer tribute to her wonderful work than to have a scholarship in her name.”
Details of how to apply will be released in the near future.
Among others paying tribute to Orvice were Dame Kelly Holmes, Lord Seb Coe and Greg Rutherford, with the long jumping Olympic gold-medallist describing her as “one of the best athletics writers we had”.
Feel incredibly sad to hear of the passing of a brilliant journalist and truly lovely person @vikkiorvice. One of the best athletics writers we had; always a pleasure to talk to and so very affable. She’s really going to be missed by everyone & my thoughts are with her family x
— Greg Rutherford (@GregJRutherford) February 6, 2019
@vikkiorvice has been part of my life for 30yrs. She believed in London 2012 long before others & drove @TheSun support. A cheerleader for women in sport & mentor to athletes & my team to be strong female role models in sport. We owe her so much. She will live on in our ❤️ https://t.co/9sVuDtzLYD
— Seb Coe (@sebcoe) February 6, 2019
I’m really sorry Ian to hear that. All my best wishes to you. https://t.co/Iejh9Bp5FI
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) February 6, 2019
Picture: Jim Keogh