‘Inspirational’ Roger killed in car crash

Wisbech Town observing a minute's silence before Tuesday evening's game against March Town.
Wisbech Town observing a minute's silence before Tuesday evening's game against March Town.
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TRIBUTES have been pouring in following the shock death of Roger Green, one of Wisbech’s best known figureheads in a car crash on yesterday afternoon (Monday).

Mr Green was airlifted to Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge after being anaesthetised at the scene following the head-on collision on the A47 close to the junction with Broad End Road, Walsoken, but sadly died from his injuries.

Roger Green

Roger Green

He had been driving his green Nissan car at the time of the crash, which also involved an Audi A4 estate car carrying a family from the Leicester area.

A woman passenger in the car suffered internal injuries and was also airlifted to hospital.

The male driver, in his forties, suffered arm and leg injuries and a child was unhurt.

Mr Green was a hugely popular and well-known figure in Wisbech and Fenland and tributes were pouring in from shocked friends, family and representatives of the numerous organisations he had been involved in.

RTA on the A47 between Elme Hall hotel roundabout and Little Chef Walton Highway roundabout

RTA on the A47 between Elme Hall hotel roundabout and Little Chef Walton Highway roundabout

He was possibly best known as a former editor of the Wisbech Standard, holding the position for 21 years having started as a junior at the paper in 1950.

He was also a long serving town and district councillor, a leading light in the Wisbech branch of Macmillan Cancer Support, a former Wisbech Mayor and was also heavily involved in Wisbech Town Football Club.

Leading the tributes was his devastated wife Margaret who said: “He was a lovely man, he loved his town of Wisbech which he considered to be the capital of the Fens. He will be a great loss to Wisbech, his friends and his family.”

Her sentiments were echoed by another former Wisbech Standard editor Brian Asplin, who worked alongside Mr Green for many years.

He described him “as a safe pair of hands”.

Mr Asplin said: “He was a genuine lover and supporter of Wisbech. He worked really hard for the people of Wisbech. He was a thoroughly honest, hardworking man who fought for what he believed in. He was a very good friend and he will be sadly missed.”

Mr Green had three daughters, Karen, Linda and Amanda, from his marriage to first wife Janet and a step-daughter, Samantha, from his second marriage. Sadly Linda died several years ago.

Wisbech Town Council Clerk described Mr Green as an “inspiration” and said: “He will be sorely missed. He was a great friend to Wisbech, a town that he served all his life. Our thoughts are with his family, and especially Margaret, who was a tremendous support to Roger in everything that he did.

“I was proud to have had the opportunity to work so closely with him. During our weekly meetings, he was incisive, inspirational and supportive in a way that made everything possible, and Wisbech has benefited enormously.’

Mr Green, who was Christened Anthony Roger Green, and was educated at Wisbech Grammar School, was chairman of Wisbech Branch of Macmillan Cancer Support for seven years and during his time helped to raise more than £100,000 for the charity.

Trevor Wright, treasurer of the Wisbech branch, said: “I have so many good memories of Roger. He was a good friend and an inspiration. I had so much respect for him. He would always get it right. He never said very much, he would listen and then would add something at the end. He knew when to speak and would always say the right thing.”

His dedication to the Macmillan cause also led him to establish a fundraising group at the caravan park on the coast where he often escaped to enjoy a break with his wife at their holiday home.

At Fenland District Council Mr Green was chairman of planning, and worked with Mac Cotterell on the Golden Age Committee, which has also been enormously successful. In fact he was on his way home from a Golden Age Fair in March when the accident happened.

He also served on Wisbech Regeneration and Development Trust; Wisbech Neighbourhood Forum; Wisbech Chamber of Commerce Committee; Wisbech Tourism Group; the Wisbech Environmental Liaison Group; the Fenland Twinning Committee; and he was patron of Fenland Branch of the Royal Society of St George.

When he was younger Mr Green represented Cambridgeshire, gaining his county colours for athletics. He was also a boxer, enjoyed cricket and badminton.

The his main love was football, and he played for Wisbech Rovers; Upwell Town; and Hereford United. He later set up, and chaired the Fenland Youth Soccer League, and was the current Chairman. He also spent 13 years as a professional talent scout for Reading Football Club, and was a director of Wisbech Town Football Club for 30 years, and then Vice-President.

Wisbech Town club official Spenny Larham added his tribute and said there were plans to observe a minute’s silence at last night’s (Tuesday) game against March and also the pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Fenland Council leader Alan Melton said: “The tragic news is a great shock to everyone at Fenland Council. Roger has been a good friend and colleague for many years. He has served his ward, the town of Wisbech and Fenland with passion and dedication. Roger’s death leaves a big hole in the political arena of Fenland Council. Never afraid to praise or criticise, he was a good friend and I shall really miss him.”

Sandra Claxton, FDC’s Chief Executive, echoed Cllr Melton’s words.

“We are all shocked by this awful tragedy. Roger has been with the council for 12 years and has been much loved by everyone who came into contact with him here. He was a man of great wit, with a lovely sense of humour, and always showed great passion in representing his ward, his town and the district.

“He has been a tremendously fair and diligent chairman of the Planning Committee, as well as serving on several other committees. He was someone who very quickly earned everyone’s respect.

“As one of the most active members of Golden Age, he has also been tireless in his efforts to improve the lives of older people in Fenland.”

Officers from the Serious Collision Investigation Team (SCIT) are appealing for witnesses to the accident, which happened at around 2.45pm and left parts of Wisbech gridlocked while the road was closed while emergency services dealt with the incident.

Mr Green’s Nissan Almera was travelling towards King’s Lynn on the A47 Lynn Road at Walsoken, when close to the Broad End Road junction, it was in collision with a black Audi A4 estate heading in the opposite direction towards Peterborough.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or the manner of driving of either vehicle prior to the collision are asked to contact SCIT on 0845-4564567.