t bar dr martens ‘A great wit and a great journalist’

He said: “Paul was one of the best journalists I ever worked with. The newsroom was always full of humour and Ricko was generally at the heart of it. I’m terribly saddened by the news.”

Former colleague Bev Abbs remembered him as: “The most wonderful man. A lovely friend, helpful and talented work colleague.”

He said: “I used to love talking cricket with Ricko and we used to joke that three of the greats shared the same birthday on October 11 me, him and Sir Bobby Charlton.”

Christine Meigh, who works in editorial admin and worked with Mr Ricketts for many years said: “So so sad. Such a lovely genuine man. Top bloke Simply the Best.”

Jan Perkins, who worked in admin at the paper, said: “A true gent, so kind and funny, he started at Berrows when my dad worked in the camera room and they worked together for years and then I worked at Berrows and loved having a catch up with Ricko.”

Stephanie Preece, of the Worcester News, said: “So sad to hear that the Worcester News has lost one of its finest. RIP. A great local journalist with a wicked sense of humour. He will be very, very sadly missed.”

Kelvin Lye, who works in the Worcester News IT department, was a colleague for 45 years, and recalled his sporting prowess and devilish humour.

He said: “He had an incredible knack of winding me up. I knew he was taking the mickey but I always fell for it. Played in the same skittles team (the mighty Newsmen) with him and other Berrow’s luminaries. He always seemed to be good at any game or sport he played. For a short while he was a neighbour of mine. I can remember a couple of times when he helped push start my car. He gave me a lot of stick about that.

“He would sometimes call me over when he had some computer problem which I usually couldn’t answer. He would say don’t tell me “turn it off and turn it on again”.

“After humiliating me with that glint in his eye we would have a good chat and put the world to rights.”

Former colleague, now Hereford Times editor, John Wilson referred to Mr Ricketts’ cricketing days with the newspaper’s team. He said: “There’s another legend to inscribe on the old Berrow’s Newspapers bat. RIP top bloke.”

While former Worcester News photographer Emma Attwood remembered his “great sense of humour”. She added: “He was always so generous and supportive. His high standards certainly kept me on my toes, for which I am eternally grateful.”