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Former deputy editor dies weeks after leaving job

A journalist who spent 27 years working for a weekly newspaper has died suddenly at the age of 52, just weeks after leaving his job.

Mike Delaney, left, was a former chief reporter and deputy editor of the Glenrothes Gazette and spent 27 years there over two separate spells.

He most recently worked as head of news for Central Fife after the Fife Free Press Group of which the Gazette is part was restructured, but took voluntary redundancy from the role just under three months ago.

Mike was also a long-serving representative for the National Union of Journalists and served as the father of chapel for Johnston Press Scotland for 15 years and as Fife FoC for more than 20 years.

Tributes have been paid to Mike in a story by the Gazette following his sudden death on 12 November.

Allan Crow, Central Fife editor for the Fife Free Press Group, said: “Mike was the very heart and soul of the Gazette office –  a great reporter and a hugely popular and valued colleague to all who joined the paper.

“All who fondly recall their time in North Street do so because of Mike’s humour, his patience, his personality and his commitment to the paper. He will be greatly missed.”

NUJ Scottish Organiser Paul Holleran said: “Mike was senior Father of the Chapel for many years in Johnston Press which reflects the high level of respect and popularity his colleagues held for him.

“We worked closely together for the union for over 20 years and I know how much he cared about people and his newspaper.

“His commitment to sorting out difficulties was total and that is why this tragedy is even more difficult to accept. He was a good mate and I’ll miss him badly.”

Mike started out at the Gazette in 1985 where he met his future wife Sandra, a fellow reporter, before leaving two years later to work for United News Services, where he covered many Edinburgh High Court cases.

He returned to the Gazette in January 1989 where he remained, apart from a six-month secondment to the East Fife Mail, making him the title’s longest-serving staff member.

Brian Stormont, Gazette editor from 2003-2007, said: ”It was a privilege to work with Mike Delaney for five years at the Glenrothes Gazette. He was the finest journalist I have worked with.

“His knowledge of the area was second to none and he was a hugely talented writer. When I joined as chief reporter, I was Mike’s boss, but he taught me the ropes! Then when I was editor, he was an outstanding deputy, full of ideas and commitment and someone who could be relied upon.”

Jerzy Morkis, north east Fife editor with Johnston Press, added: “I’ve known Mike since he joined the company and he was devoted to the Gazette and the readers. He was a good journalist , an excellent writer and devoted to his family.

“While his input to the Gazette over the decades was immense his real legacy is the impact he made on so many reporters who worked under him. His experience, patience and understanding were vital to many just beginning their careers.

“Many in the profession are indebted to him; he will be sadly missed.”

Away from work, Mike was a lifelong Hibernian supporter and follower of football in general and was also a music-lover, spending his youth playing in a number of bands.

He leaves his wife Sandra and sons, Jamie, 18, and Ruaridh, 15.

Mike’s funeral will take place at St Patrick’s Church, Cowgate, Edinburgh at 1.30 pm on Monday followed by a cremation at Seafield Crematorium at 3pm. His family have requested that those attending wear something green.


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  • November 21, 2013 at 9:02 am

    How very, very sad and shocking for his family. RIP.

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  • November 21, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Rip Michael deepest condolences to all his
    Family. Mike is my cousin, not seen much of
    Mike in years , my memories of him are as a kid,
    We would visit my aunt Lizzy or they would
    Visit our family in Dalkeith , especially new year
    When all the family would be there . Mike was a great wee character full fun and mischief .
    As soon as I heard of Mike s passing a memory
    Came straight into my head, it was of our granny
    Coyle when we were visiting her and Mike was
    There with Aunt Liz ,Mike was only maybe
    4 or around that age, I am 8 years Mike s senior,
    Granny Coyle saying “Michael Delaney your a holy terror ”
    Great times visiting our favourite aunt Liz and
    Uncle Arthur our cousins
    Patricia Frances Margaret Terry and the
    Very happy funny holy terror Michael Delaney
    God love him.
    Thoughts are with them all.
    And truly devastated for Mike s wife and his kids,
    Who are same age as my youngest two kids
    From all the Downie family
    God bless you xx

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  • December 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I have worked next door in the newsagent’s to the Gszette officr for many years and knew Mike well one of the nicest people you would wish to meet God Bless you mike and my I myself lost my husband a year ago my heart goes out to your wife and famiily..Dorothy.

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