A VIDEO pioneer well known to the sports press and Barnsley FC supporters for his years as a cameraman at Oakwell has died at his Darfield home.
Steve Rhodes, of Morrison Place, started out as a miner at Houghton Main Colliery before leaving during the miners’ strike to begin a career in the media.
He had a string of businesses which saw him travel the country and Europe creating videos for his clients.
Steve was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and then developed a separate case of mouth cancer in 2013. The latter left him unable to speak but resilient Steve learned how to talk again and fought to stabilise both cancers.
In 2015, his bowel cancer developed into his liver. In August this year, while holidaying in France with wife Carole, he developed issues with his liver. After returning home and a short hospital stay in September he died at home on October 26.
Alongside wife Carole, who he married in 1975, Steve ran Steve Rhodes Video Productions from the spare bedroom of their home, before moving to Shambles Street in Barnsley.
In 1988, the business was the first to move into the Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre.
And it was there it blossomed, with their BBIC studios being the location of the first ever taping of Crimestoppers and even adapting to include a hair salon and plumbing facilities to meet the needs of a growing client base.
After a career which saw the business film everything from pop videos to recycling plants in Norway, and reincarnations as both Rainbow Images and South Riding Video and TV, Steve left BBIC in 2003.
After that he focused solely on filming for Barnsley Football Club under the name MooreSport, named after Frank Moore, an elderly supporter well known at the ground.
Steve was the sole cameraman at Barnsley FC’s home games and would learn to study the match from the gantry high above the field.
Carole, 64, said: “Steve was always at the forefront of technology. Years ago we did a film titled ‘What is the internet?’ with Michael Heseltine. We did the first live stream between Sheffield and Barnsley. They said it wasn’t possible but we found a way using the cable network.
“Steve’s brain moved so fast that even for football, in the later years once he had closed the business, he did it with the latest cameras.
“Steve was born in Leeds but he had a Barnsley accent and Barnsley was his home. He was fighting the cancer right to the end and he squeezed every last ounce out of life.
“He was always so positive and for a lot of people, they now have careers because he gave them a helping hand at the start.
“To a lot of people he was known as ‘the man in the black hat’. And he was recognised for his silk ties with cartoon characters on during his business days.
“He started in the 1980s at the football club. He always loved the sport and it was a way of keeping the archive safe for Barnsley. He kept the latest technology at the ground so if anyone needed something, he had it. But he was always there to make sure Barnsley had the right image too. The town could always hold its head up high.”
The couple enjoyed summers in Bleirot-Plage in France in their motorhome. They bought a smaller motorhome ready for Carole to continue holidaying after Steve’s death with their friends in France.
She said: “The people we have met, the things we have done, it has been a real pleasure to do it all in one lifetime. We had a lot of fun, a lot of scrapes, had an exciting time and then luckily at the end had the motorhome where we made lots of friends.”
Steve’s funeral is on Tuesday at All Saints Parish Church, Darfield, 11.30am. The service will be followed by cremation at Ardsley Crematorium at 12.10pm. Donations in lieu of flowers will go to Marie Curie. There will be a donation box at the church and the crematorium.
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