Tribute to Martin Warrillow

  • 28 Oct 2022

The loved newspaper journalist and trade unionist has died aged 58.

It is with much sadness that we report the death of regional newspaper journalist and stalwart NUJ member Martin Warrillow, on 16 October 2022, at the age of just 58.

Martin spent 17 years on the sports desk of the Birmingham Post and showed tremendous fortitude and determination in overcoming a debilitating stroke in 2013, three years after leaving the Birmingham Post & Mail.

Despite the stroke forcing him to re-learn how to walk and write, Martin became a tireless champion for other stroke survivors.

After acknowledging that his own situation was as a result of stress, he devoted his time and energy to warning others about the risk factors behind strokes.

This was through a series of talks, as well as his own blog, called The Warrior, which he started in 2014, and a monthly podcast.

Martin also helped with research into the causes of strokes and fundraising for stroke survivor charities.

He started as a sports reporter on the Tamworth Herald in Staffordshire in 1987 after graduating from Loughborough University with BA Hons in European Political Studies and Modern European Studies.

It was in Tamworth where he was introduced to his devoted wife Carmel, and the local Tamworth Football Club.

After just over two years at the Herald, Martin moved to sister weekly title, the Sutton Coldfield Observer, in 1990 as Sports Editor.

But after another couple of years, he moved to the Birmingham Post where he became Assistant Content Editor (Sport). Always a strong union member, Martin was a highly effective NUJ rep for his colleagues until redundancy in 2009 following editorial restructuring.

Shortly after leaving BPM, Martin became editor of the British Naturism magazine, an 80-page quarterly publication serving the organisation’s 11,000 members.

He also created his own company, Martin Warrillow Publishing Services, in the same year, 2010, until his stroke.

Sam Holliday, best man at Martin and Carmel’s wedding in 1990, and his Sports Editor at the Tamworth Herald, said:

“When I first met Martin, he was a quiet individual, but it was amazing how coming to Tamworth transformed him.

“Not only did he find lots of great friends, but he also found Carmel.

“He was a very good journalist who wrote well and knew so much about so many different sports. But he also touched so many people in his stroke talks and probably helped to save people’s lives without realising it.

“I think he would be amazed and pleased at how much love and affection came his way.”

Tamworth FC held a minute’s applause at their match against Hitchin Town on Saturday 22 October in honour of long-standing fan Martin.

A funeral service will be held on Friday 18 November at 12 noon at St John’s Church, St Johns Street, Tamworth.

Tony Collins

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