Tributes paid to 'trailblazer' Vikki Orvice

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by Simon Austin
Vikki Orvice

Vikki Orvice, a trailblazer for women in sports journalism, has died from cancer at the age of 55.

Sheffield-born Orvice was the first female writer on a red top when she was appointed to the staff of The Sun newspaper in 1995. She went on to serve as athletics correspondent for 16 years, working on several Olympic Games.

Orvice said was hugely honoured to carry the Olympic torch 300 metres through Barnsley as it made its way to her hometown of Sheffield ahead of the 2012 Games.

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Her husband Ian Ridley, himself a national newspaper journalist and author, announced the news this morning, when he tweeted: “My beloved, bright, brilliant wife Vikki Orvice passed away at 5am, able to defy the cancer no longer.

“I am bereft, empty, but grateful for her life and her love. Those who feel the breath of sadness, sit down next to me.There were tributes to the journalist from across the worlds of sport and journalism.”

There were tributes from across the worlds of sport and journalism.

Paula Radcliffe tweeted: “Vikki will be greatly missed. A true trailblazer for women journalists, and women everywhere. Lived her life with integrity and courage, always thinking of others and treading her own path.”

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill wrote: “She was such a genuinely lovely woman. I feel really lucky to have spent so much time with her over the years of my athletic career. Lots of great memories and she will be truly missed. A very sad day. Thinking of you and your family x”

And the Women in Football group said: “We are devastated to learn of the passing of our dear friend and colleague Vikki Orvice. Vikki was a brave, brilliant and extraordinary lady who passionately championed women in football. We will miss her dreadfully, and will continue to stand up for all she believed in.”

Orvice, a lifelong Sheffield United fan, started out in journalism in the mid-1980s with the Wakefield Express before being appointed by The Sun. Even though Orvice was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and the disease returned in 2014, she continued to work full-time for The Sun for several years.

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