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Distinguished North West journalist dies aged 85

A weekly newspaper reporter who went on to work for The Guardian in Manchester has died aged 85.

Michael Morris started out on his hometown paper, the Southport Visiter, and also worked for its now-defunct rival the Southport Guardian.

He also worked for regional titles in the North-East before joining The Guardian’s Manchester office.

Among the stories he covered there were the Toxteth riots in 1981, the Strangeways prison siege in 1990, and the death of the painter LS Lowry in 1976.

An obituary in the paper written by Martyn Halsall praised Michael’s “vivid reporting” after becoming the first reporter on the scene following the artist’s death.

Wrote Martyn: “Tipped off by his photographer colleague Denis Thorpe, who talked his way past security to photograph the interior of Lowry’s home in Mottram in Longdendale, Cheshire, Morris moved swiftly to become the first reporter on the scene. His story disclosed that there were many more of Lowry’s works than experts had imagined, perhaps running to several hundreds ‘scattered around the house.'”

“He will be remembered as a fluent and determined journalist, with several interests and a huge capacity for friendship.”

Michael is survived by his brothers John and David.  A twin brother, Peter, and his wife Anne predeceased him.

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