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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Terry Challis (1935-2009)

Cartoonist Terry Challis has died at the age of 74, reports the Watford Observer (7 October). Challis was a local cartoonist who produced weekly sporting cartoons and illustrations for the Observer for over 30 years. He was a strong supporter of Watford Football Club and well-known to fans. "Some people are lucky enough to be born with one God-given talent -- Terry was blessed with two: he was an incredible artist and a naturally funny man," says Watford FC communications manager Andrew French. "Watford supporters were able to enjoy both those skills through his famous cartoons, the like of which were -- and still are -- unrivalled. He had a knack of empathising with fans, sharing their highs and lows. I cannot think of anyone who made me laugh harder."

Elsewhere, Ian Grant paid tribute to Challis: "For me, Terry Challis' name will always ring loudest in the largely barren nineties. It was one of the times when Watford Football Club most needed some wry commentary... but also when it needed the essentially positive tint he applied with great subtlety to his work, even at the gloomiest of times. It needed that ethos, an ethos that he so helped to shape and represent."

Terence G. S. Challis was born in Watford in 1935, the son of George Challis and his wife Evelyn (nee Gledhill). He donated some of his cartoons to the Watford Museum for display in their "Goal-den" exhibitions in 2002 and 2003.

Publications
The History of West Herts Golf Club 1890-1989 by R. G. Simon, illus. Terry Challis. Hitchin, West Herts. Golf Club, 1988.
Drawn Game. 1995.

(* Photograph from Watford Observer; cartoons from You Are My Watford (2002) produced to raise money for the Watford Supporters Trust.)

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