TRIBUTES have been paid to BBC Radio Suffolk’s Simon Warr, who passed away early on Saturday after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.
Simon, who was 65, had covered non-league football for BBC Radio Suffolk for more than 20 years.
He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just before the New Year but vowed to carry on reporting as normal.
However, the cancer spread to his liver and Leiston’s 1-0 home loss to Stourbridge a fortnight ago was the last match that he reported on for the station.
Simon was subsequently admitted to Meadow House Hospice at Ealing Hospital in London, where he lived nearby in Osterley.
Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal said: “Simon’s unique and enthusiastic reporting style made him the voice of grassroots football in Suffolk.
“He shone a spotlight on clubs and the local game in a way no others could match.
“We will miss his exuberance, wit and unrivalled knowledge, but will be forever grateful for all he did to promote football and all sport in Suffolk.
“Sending thoughts, prayers and condolences, to all Simon’s friends and family.”
BBC Radio Suffolk sports producer Graeme Mac said: “We’ve lost a huge fan of Suffolk sport, but particularly non-league football.
“I think Simon was its biggest supporter. He absolutely loved travelling from London each weekend to cover games for us, and had friends at all the grounds he visited.
“He will be missed very much but remembered fondly. I think a lot of people involved in the game locally will be doing it for him this weekend.
“We’ve also lost a wonderful friend of course. A lover of life and laughs, and there were many of them.”
Needham Market FC are to name their Press Box, which Simon opened a couple of years ago, in his memory. The Press Box at Leiston FC is already named 'The Warr Zone' at their Victory Road ground which is pictured above.
Simon started working for BBC Radio Suffolk in 1999 and covered non-league football matches for the station on a weekly basis as well as covering rugby union and occasionally hockey.
For the majority of his working career Simon taught at boarding schools across Suffolk, most recently at the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook near Ipswich.
As well as appearing on radio, Simon was headmaster on the Channel 4 television series ‘That’ll Teach ‘Em’.