Tribute to former Doncaster Free Press editor Maurice Coupe who has died at 94

Former Doncaster Free Press editor Maurice Coupe has died, aged 94.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 2:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 2:54 pm
Former Doncaster Free Press editor Maurice Coupe

He suffered a second stroke in 2015 but after breaking his hip in November last year and spending Christmas in hospital, his health deteriorated quickly and he died in St John’s hospice, Balby.

Coupe became only the third editor in DFP history, following the paper’s founder Richard ‘Dickie’ Crowther and Leonard Peet, with whose news agency he gained his first experience of journalism. He joined the paper in October 1963 and retired on health grounds in 1986.

Born in September 1926, he left Doncaster Grammar School in 1943 and the following year, at the age of 17, volunteered for Army service. In 1945, he was posted to the BAOR School Military Intelligence, serving in Germany until his demobilisation in 1947. On returning to the UK, a brief spell in an estate agent’s office was followed by his joining HL Peet’s news agency.

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Former Free Press sports editor Peter Catt said: "Maurice was almost a one-man band at the DFP when I first started working for the freelance agency he had just left.

"He got me to write about Rovers under the pseudonym 'Grandstander' for many years and later helped me out on match days writing reports on the club for the Sunday papers.

"Maurice was old school, unfailingly courteous and correct, and he was very well respected in the town. He helped me a lot in the early days and later became a very good friend."

Coupe’s nephew Howard Wright, who followed him into journalism, added: “After his retirement, Maurice continued to follow the fortunes of Doncaster Rovers, with strong opinions on who were the club’s best players since the 1960s, and Yorkshire CCC.

“He also remained a stickler for grammatical accuracy and wrote to the Rovers’ chairman to point out that the slogan ‘Rovers till I die’, which appeared in promotional material, should have read ‘Rovers ‘til I die.’ ‘It’s short for until,‘ he wrote. ‘Till is where the shopkeeper keeps his cash.’”

The private funeral is at 2pm at Rose Hill crematorium on Friday 16 April. Due to coronavirus restrictions, arrangements to attend are being made by funeral directors J Steadman & Son (01302 344444), which are also arranging online streaming of the ceremony.