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Funny peculiar and funny ha-ha, that was Cy Fox

Cy Fox was in that hard-bitten circle known as the World Desk in a bygone age at Reuters’ London HQ, but not entirely of it, being funny in both senses. He was scholarly yet a pub devotee with the loudest laugh in Fleet Street.

He was boisterous but modest - who knew he'd been a Rhodes Scholar? The apparent contradictions go on.

I last met Cy a few years ago on a Toronto visit when we bumped into each other outside Coles which calls itself the world's largest bookstore. Our chat was laced with laughter as always, but we hadn't time to retire for a drink as usual. The following day, in another part of town, I was browsing in a bookshop when in strode Cy. To the bemusement of customers, we both loudly intoned, "We...can't...go this!”

In this fragile world I am sorry never to have another encounter with the jokemaster bibliophile. We are told that death came as he sat in his armchair, reading glasses on, a volume in his lap. Way to go!

End of story, though Cy might have required a punchline summation, so I submit with respect and apologies: He died with his books on! ■