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Hospital Radio Colchester pioneer dies, aged 87
6:00pm Wednesday 12th September 2012 in News
ONE of Hospital Radio Colchester’s original commentators at U’s games has died, aged 87.
Eric Southernwood died on August 30, after suffering Alzheimer’s disease for some time.
Mr Southernwood was born and raised in West Bergholt and went to Colchester Royal Grammar School before leaving to join Bland Fielden accountants in the town.
He was called up to serve in the Second World War in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, where he was a sub-lieutenant. At the end of the war, he resumed work at Bland Fielden where he met his wife, Evelyn Charlotte.
A few years later, he started commentating on Colchester United games.
Fellow commentator Godfrey Thomas said: “Eric was treasurer of the supporters’ club at the time and my father, Arthur Thomas, was secretary.
“With several other enthusiasts, they set up a service, broadcasting to local hospitals, which grew steadily into the fully-fledged service.”
Hospital Radio Colchester still features broadcasts from all United’s home matches.
Mr Thomas added: “Eric and I shared many an exciting commentary from Colchester United ’s old home ground, at Layer Road, most notably on the occasion of Leeds United being beaten in an FA cup match in 1971, when a long-playing vinyl record of our commentary was made.”
Mr Southernwood stepped down from commentary three only years ago.
He leaves his wife, children, Graham and Heather, and three grandchildren, Martin, Claire and Christopher.
His funeral will be at St Anne and St Laurence Church, Elmstead Market, on Monday, at 10.30am.