Tributes to pioneering sports journalist Vikki Orvice

Vikki Orvice presenting The JL Manning Award for services to sport to Brendan Foster during The SJA British Sports Awards 2017 (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Vikki Orvice presenting The JL Manning Award for services to sport to Brendan Foster during The SJA British Sports Awards 2017 (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

A trailblazing sports journalist has died from cancer.

Vikki Orvice, who lived in Hertfordshire, became the first-ever female football writer to work for a tabloid newspaper in 1995.

She was also a director of Women In Football and a respected member of the Football Writers’ Association.

And locally she had been one of the organisers of Flamstead Book Festival for many years.

Her husband Ian Ridley, who is also a well-known sports reporter and writer, 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.”

Leading figures from across sport and journalism paid tribute to Vikki.

Olympic champion 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.”

Broadcaster Gabby Logan wrote: “Vikki was a pioneer for so many of us now following in her footsteps.”

Fellow journalist Jacqui Oatley wrote: “She was a driving force for a change in football culture.

“Spent countless hours/days making a practical difference via Women In Football and the Football Writers’ Association to forge a pathway for the next generation.”