Local journalist John Foster passes away aged 74...
Rotherham United are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of lifelong Millers fan and veteran journalist John Foster, who has died at the age of 74 following a short illness.
‘Fozzie’, as he was universally known to the journalistic and football fraternity, was a familiar sight in the Rotherham press box for more than half a century.
For most of that time he was the official Press Association correspondent for Rotherham United, filing match reports and follow up articles from every home game.
Born and bred in Rotherham, the son of a Kimberworth milkman, as a young reporter at the Advertiser he began covering matches in his 20s during the 1960s.
He left his hometown and went to London to join the sports desk on the capital’s principal evening paper The Standard in 1968.
Two years later rejoined the Advertiser as News Editor and remained at the paper rising to become deputy editor before leaving in 2001.
Said former colleague, Les Payne, who succeeded John as the Advertiser’s Millers reporter: “When John took over covering Rotherham United he gave reports a fresher feel that was required in the Sixties.
“He was virtually a permanent fixture in the press box and it will seem strange without him.”
Added former colleague, retired Sun news journalist, keen Millers fan and season ticket holder Martyn Sharpe: “He was a true son of Rotherham.
“As a journalist he knew anybody and everybody who was a mover and shaker in the town and he was a devoted Millers fan.”
John, who lived in Ranskill, Notts, leaves a wife Chris. He died 13 weeks after being taken ill suddenly and diagnosed with Leukamia.
John edited the parish magazine in Ranskill and was a parish councillor. He was a regular in the AESSEAL New York Stadium press box until March when the illness struck.
The funeral will be held at Ranskill Parish Church on Friday July 13th at 2.15pm.
Speaking of his memories of John, Les Payne said recalled the day the legendary Tommy Docherty made an outrageous claim to the young reporter.
Said Les: “When Tommy Docherty signed Dave Watson, he told John that he’d sell him one day for £100,000, an unthinkable sum in 1967, and further claimed Watson would play for England one day.
“John said: ‘I said to him ‘ Come off it Tommy, you’re joking – no one would believe that.’
“But Tommy was right. Three years later after the Doc had left, Watson was sold for £100,000 and went on to make 65 appearances for England.”
The thoughts of everyone at Rotherham United are with John's family and friends at this sad time.