Wetherby Lions pay tribute to valued member Phil Rostron

A valued Wetherby Lions member has died aged 70 following an illness.

By Janet Harrison
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 10:22 am
Phil Rostron.

Phil Rostron, a former Yorkshire Evening Post Leeds United correspondent and sports editor, joined the Wetherby club in early 2019.

Chairman Tim Ritson said: “Phil proved to be a valuable member - taking part in many events before lockdown came upon us.

“Phil and his wife Caroline created a formidable team in the ensuing Zoom quiz nights and as quizmaster when it was his turn to take the helm, Phil displayed his broad depth of knowledge on many topics alongside his first love sport.

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“His journalistic background led to him being the first port of call whenever an article was required for social media or the press and one was always willingly produced in a professional and timely manner.

“However, Phil’s prowess as a racing pundit was called into question at the Lions’ social outing to Ripon races when some of his tips were less successful than the pins stabbed into the race card.

“His cheerful manner, sporting knowledge and contribution to Lions’ activities will be sorely missed.

“Our thoughts go out to Caroline and his family.”

After a successful start to his career in newspapers, Oldham-born Phil enjoyed 18 years on Fleet Street, working for the Daily Express and was sports editor of the Daily Star when Leeds United won the First Division championship in 1992.

As a result he developed a close relationship with United manager Howard Wilkinson as the Whites embarked on their UEFA Cup campaign the following season and followed them closely as their fortunes took an upswing in the late 1990s.

As chief sports writer at the Yorkshire Evening Post, where he started in 1999, he charted the success of David O’Leary’s Whites as they climbed the Premier League table and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

When he became sports editor of the YEP in 2001 he also chronicled United’s relegation from the top flight and their deepening financial crisis as well as the golden generation of Leeds Rhinos as they took the first steps towards numerous Grand Final glories.

Along the way, Rostron wrote autobiographies with Barry Fry and good friend Peter Lorimer, the Leeds United legend, as well as books focused on the Whites including; Leeds United: Trials and Tribulations and We are the Damned United.

He was also a keen horse racing fan - penning another book on the great Sir Henry Cecil.

He leaves wife Caroline, daughters Jo, a former YEP reporter, Holly and son Gary. His funeral was on Monday.