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George Marshall, 1923-2004

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Former Tyres & Accessories Editor George Marshall recently died at 81. Klaus Haddenbrock, publisher of Tyres & Accessories, wrote the following obituary.

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of George Marshall on December 15th, 2004, aged 81.

George was well known in the tyre industry throughout the world, having edited Tyres & Accessories magazine since January 1971 and having been owner and publisher of the title from September that year until September 1987.

Having spent his early career running his own tyre retreading and retailing businesses, George had a thorough knowledge of the industry, both from a practical and political viewpoint. His achievements were many, having been instrumental in founding the Brityrex exhibition in the UK and its South African and Australian equivalents, Satyrex and Austyrex. George also played a role in the foundation of the Imported Tyre Manufacturers Association and the Tyre Wholesalers Association in the UK.

His lifetime spent in the tyre industry was recognised internationally, when he was honoured by the AMF (TEI) at Essen in 1986 and presented with the Industry Leadership Award by the American Retreaders Association in 1987. George received another accolade from the ARA when he was inducted into their International Tire Retreading and Repairing Hall of Fame in April 1995.

George Marshall was a striking figure, instantly recognisable and known to tyremen all over the world; he was definitely his own man, with his own ideas and some of these were not universally popular. Nevertheless, whether you liked him or not, or agreed with him or not, you could be sure that his views were honestly held. It is a mark of the man that those who he criticised in print will be as saddened at his passing as those who he counted as his friends.

As far as Tyres & Accessories is concerned, George was instrumental in rescuing what was a moribund trade magazine and building it up to become the best-respected journal in the industry, not just in the UK, but globally.

George leaves a widow, Edna, to whom Tyres & Accessories extends deepest sympathy, a sentiment no doubt echoed by George’s many friends in the worldwide tyre community.

But, as so often in the past, let George Marshall have the last word. Here is an extract from the last editorial column that he wrote for Tyres & Accessories in September 1987. The article was entitled "It´s been a great 16 years!" and it sums up George Marshall´s life in tyres, as he wrote thus:

"Never in my wildest dreams did I, when I took over T&A, even think that I would see so many parts of the world and make friends and meet so many tyremen in so many different countries. Nor did I ever think I would become a public speaker at tyre functions around the world.

"I count myself as one of the luckiest men in the tyre industry for having been able to put back into it something it has given to me -- a remarkably eventful and enjoyable life."

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