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Newspaper man loved to race
4:00pm Thursday 22nd March 2012 in Local Obituaries
A former rally driver and Oxford Mail reporter has died while on holiday in Morocco.
Richard Wooldridge died from a heart attack on Sunday at the age of 69.
He was a reporter, columnist and assistant news editor at the Mail for about 15 years in the 1960s and ’70s.
Colleague John Chipperfield said: “Richard was an able and determined journalist, and it was clear early in his career that he was destined to go far.”
Mr Wooldridge later became deputy editor of a weekly newspaper in Surrey and editor of the Buckinghamshire Advertiser series and then the Yorkshire Evening Press.
He also worked as editorial director of the Oxford Mail’s parent company at the time, Westminster Press, before joining the International Herald Tribune.
Born on May 11, 1942, he began his career in our Abingdon office, working with Bill Rennells who went on to become a BBC Radio Oxford presenter.
Mr Wooldridge took part in several rally races in the 1970s.
On one occasion in 1971 his car plunged 30ft down a mountainside in North Wales while taking part in a race.
His car was saved from falling 200ft by two trees, allowing Mr Wooldridge and co-driver Mick Hogan to clamber to safety.
By the time of his death he had been retired for two years and was living in France.
Mr Wooldridge is survived by his wife Lynda, daughter Henrietta and son Christopher.
A funeral service will be held in France and a memorial service is being planned to take place in York later this year.