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Editor-in-chief dies at 59 after battle with cancer

The editor-in-chief of a newspaper company has died at the age of 59 after a long battle with cancer.

Joe Kelly, left, held the role at Scottish and Universal Newspapers since 2002 but he died in Glasgow’s Victoria Infirmary after losing his fight with the disease and his funeral was held yesterday.

He had a 42-year career in journalism, with his role as editor-in-chief making him editorially responsible for around 30 titles, ranging from Blairgowrie in the north to Dumfries in the south.

Tributes were been paid to Joe by Bill Steven, managing director of S&UN, which is part of Trinity Mirror, who said he would be ‘sorely missed’.

He said: “Joe was a terrific character who took great pride in his work and our papers.

“He was also a talented journalist and extremely able manager who has left an indelible mark on the company.

“Above all, however, he was a genuine guy and considered a real friend by the people with whom he worked. He will be sorely missed.”

Joe joined Beaverbrook Newspapers in Glasgow in 1968 and worked as a copy taker and reporter both for the Daily Express and the Evening Citizen.

He joined S&UN’s Rutherglen Reformer two years later as a reporter and in 1975 he was promoted to chief reporter at the paper.

Joe’s long association with the Reformer’s sister paper, the Hamilton Advertiser, started in 1979 when he was appointed the paper’s assistant editor.

Three years later he became production editor for the company’s Lanarkshire and Lothian titles.

Joe was editor of another S&UN title, the Lothian Courier, for three years before returning to the Advertiser in 1995 as editor.