It is with great sadness that we announce that Nick Greenfield died on Sunday morning. He had been ill with cancer for eight years, and working continually until last week.
After freelancing for several years, Nick joined ETOA full time in 2010 as Head of Tour Operator Relations. Having run the London office for NETC, Nick had experience of operations and also worked as a tour guide. Guiding was an abiding passion; he went back on the road at least once a year.
Nick combined a hunger for culture with a passion for sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm. This ranged from expositions on the Sienese Trecento to planning games to enthuse American schoolchildren in the Louvre. He knew his subject: there was not a country in Europe he had not visited and understood; in Italy, his first love, there was not a province that he did not know. He was a gifted linguist. In French, German, Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Croatian and Slovenian he had full fluency “I am not” he conceded to an amazed Belgian “a normal Englishman”.
Nick wore this lightly: his most obvious attributes were a passion for sport and a vast compendium of “Dad” jokes. His enthusiasm for sport was split roughly 5% Tour de France and 95% Arsenal. His loyalties in that sense were obvious: a red and white scarf worn on match days, an Arsenal badge worn on non-match days throughout the season. Arsenal have lost a stalwart Gooner.
There was almost no aspect of his illness that he did not treat with irrepressible humour, whose return was the first thing that was announced when he regained consciousness after a twelve-hour operation. Neutron therapy was accompanied by the crackling howl of a mock Geiger-counter app on his iPhone.
Only Nick could turn terminal illness into the subject of light comedy. Only Nick could deliver such humour and leave behind a memory of such elegant grace.
The industry has lost a mine of information and a stalwart defender of its interests. His friends and colleagues have lost a great and gentle companion. Further announcements concerning funeral arrangements will be made in due course.
Addresses for condolence can be supplied on request.