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Former sub-editor dies at funeral

A retired Lancashire sub-editor died at a funeral while enjoying his passion for organ playing.

Brian Markland, from Leyland, was playing at a church in Bamber Bridge near Preston, when he collapsed and lost consciousness.

Despite efforts of the vicar and congregation to resuscitate the 66-year-old, he died from the heart attack.

In a double tragedy for the family, Brian’s sister Rosemary Needham, also a church organist, died in January after a long battle with cancer.

Brian started his career with the Leyland Guardian straight after leaving school, aged 16.

He became a sub-editor and later left to join the Lancashire Evening Post, in Preston, in 1964.

Two years later he returned to his home town newspaper where he stayed until 1979 when he left to join the Warrington Guardian as chief sub-editor.

Leyland Guardian editor Chris Maguire said: “We went to his funeral and everyone we have spoken to said how extremely popular.

“He stayed in touch with the paper. He was the lynchpin of the Leyland Guardian and was much loved. His death was a tragedy.”

Around 100 people gathered for the funeral at St Saviour’s Church where Brian had died.