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Editors team up to pay tribute to Mel Cook

A quartet of current and former regional editors yesterday teamed up to deliver a eulogy to Nottingham Post editor Mel Cook as friends and former colleagues paid their last respects.

Mel died earlier this month following a six-month battle with cancer and his funeral took place yesterday at the parish church in Balderton, Nottinghamshire.

The congregation included some of the industry’s most senior figures, four of whom teamed up to pay tribute to a man described by one as a “great journalist and even greater friend.”

They were former Essex Chronicle editor Alan Geere, Derby Telegraph managing director Steve Hall, stoke Sentinel editor Mike Sassi and Oxford Mail editor Simon O’Neill.

Mike described Mel “a very special individual, who will be sorely missed,” while Simon called him “the best friend a man could ever have.”

Alan, now a consultant editor at the Nottingham Post, said he was a “very humble” man who was “never too proud to ask and always eager to learn.”

Steve recalled Mel’s time in charge of the Derby Telegraph’s football team in the early 1990s.

He said:  “Mel wasn’t just a winner on the football pitch, he was the best production journalist that I’ve known in 30 years in the business. Everything I learned about subbing and design, I learned from him.”

Also among the congregation was Local World boss Steve Auckland, who had earlier in the day addressed the Society of Editors’ Regional Conference in the West Midlands.

Steve concluded his speech at the conference by saying:  “Mel was great editor, a really smashing guy and great fun to be around.”

Local World editorial consultant Peter Sands also attended the service and has penned a tribute on his blog which includes the four editors’ tributes in full.

Peter’s piece can be read here.