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Staff mourn the death of assistant editor

Staff at the Oldham Evening Chronicle are in mourning this week following the death of friend and colleague Jim Austin.

He had fought a four-year battle with cancer and died at the Royal Oldham Hospital on Saturday.

Jim, (pictured), who was the Chronicle’s assistant editor, had worked at the paper since 1966.

Editor Jim Williams said: “Jim Austin was the consummate professional and proof that not all the best journalists head for national newspaper fame and fortune.

“A first-class sub-editor, he had a rare gift for design and put together some of the Chronicle’s most attractive pages over the past two decades.

“He was admired and respected by his colleagues and his sense of humour and ready wit made him a joy to have around.

“We have all lost not only a valued colleague but a great friend.”

Jim, who was 61, began his career at the Accrington Observer where he covered Accrington Stanley’s Football League matches.

He later moved to the Burnley Star and after a spell at the Lancashire Evening Telegraph in Blackburn he joined the Chronicle.

During almost 40 years at the paper he had worked as a news reporter and in sport, before becoming chief sub-editor and then assistant editor.

For many years Jim also worked weekends as a sub-editor at the Sunday Express, at the old Great Ancoats Street newspaper offices in Manchester.

His twin brother, Fred, is a freelance journalist.

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