A keen amateur sportsman who worked at the Watford Observer for more than two decades has died at the age of 82.

Jim Sweeney was born Cyril Vivian James Sweeney in Calcutta, India, in 1931 but came to England in 1949 where he attended the London School of Printing gaining a City and guilds certificate.

He worked in London for a number of years before moving to Watford with his family in 1961 and later joining the Observer as a typesetter, a job he held for 22 years.

Jim was a keen sportsman playing hockey for West Herts for many years and representing Watford joggers where he ran in a number of competitive marathons.

In the mid eighties he also became a veteran champion in squash at Radlett Lawn Tennis and Squash Club. He was also a social member of North Watford Bowls Club where he often enjoyed a weekend pint or two.

He passed away in Watford General Hospital on Monday, September 9 and leaves a widow, Mary, to whom he was married for almost 60 years, daughters Susan, Janet and her partner Rory, and sons Ashley and Darren and grandchildren.

The funeral service will be held at St Helen's Church north Watford at 1pm on Thursday, September 26 followed by committal at West Herts Crematorium in Garston at 2.20pm.