Richard “Dick” Clark, who has died at the age of 68, was a former head of news of the Yorkshire Post and latterly its equestrian editor.
His newspaper career spanned five decades, starting straight from Percy Jackson Grammar School in Doncaster on his local newspaper, the Doncaster Evening Post. Very quickly he moved to H L Peet’s freelance agency, and was proud to boast of writing for the nationals at the age of 16.
He had various stints back at Doncaster before working shifts for the Daily Mail in Manchester where he was offered a job, and spent many years as a reporter for the Mail covering major stories throughout the UK.
His most memorable stories included Donald Campbell’s death during the world water speed record at Coniston Water and later working in London for the then Daily Mail editor Sir David English on the campaign to help elect the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher in 1979. He died on the same day as the former Prime Minister.
After Manchester, he returned to Yorkshire, working on the Bridlington Free Press before joining the Yorkshire Post as district chief reporter in its Hull office. He subsequently moved to the newspaper’s head office in Leeds, becoming head of news.
In later years he decided to take a part-time position writing the twice weekly equestrian column. He very much enjoyed this final job in newspapers, and had a popular writing style for his Equestrian Post column, which ran beneath a rather stern picture of him in a Panama hat. He finished writing seven years ago.
Mr Clark was born at Armthorpe, near Doncaster, on October 7th 1944.
From an early age he was “plinking” tin cans in the garden with a Webley Junior air rifle. Indeed at the end of his life, he was still “plinking” targets with an air pistol in his garden.
That early practice with an airgun laid the foundations for a distinguished shooting career. Mr Clark’s prowess at clay pigeon shooting was nationally renowned.
After many successes, he ultimately won the Great Britain All Round and was described as one of the finest shots in the country. He represented England at English Skeet, ISU and Sporting and was in the England Olympic Trap team. He was very proud to have shot for his country but sadly he didn’t compete at the Olympic Games as he wasn’t able to attend the final selection shoot.
He was also a noted game shot, and latterly joined a syndicate at Rievaulx for several seasons, where he particularly liked the challenge of the high partridge drives.
Coursing too was another favourite sport and he had his own dogs, with Raging Calm well remembered as his best. He was Slip Steward at the Waterloo Cup.
Mr Clark was a keen hunting man. He whipped-in to the Holme Valley Beagles, and also took to the saddle when he joined the mounted pack, the Rockwood Harriers, as an amateur whip.
In 1994 he married his second wife Jean MacQuarrie, the editor of Ackrill Newspapers at Harrogate.
Mr Clark was a tough journalist, and did not suffer fools. To those he liked, he was charming, amusing, and always the life and soul of any party. He will be remembered as a true newspaperman and a superb shot.