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Former journalist who helped save press club dies at 75

Tributes have been paid to a former journalist who began his career in the regional press and went on to help to save a press club from closure, after his death at the age of 75.

Alan Jones, left, started his career as a junior reporter on the Widnes Weekly News and went on to work for the Daily Express, before setting up his own agency, Delta Press.

He become a regular contributor to the Mirror and Sunday Mirror, specialising in medical stories, celebrity exclusives and human interest tales..

He was also a key member of Liverpool Press Club and helped save it after it went into liquidation in 1989, later becoming its president in 2006.

Alan died in University Hospital Aintree after fighting a debilitating illness for more than a year.

Ken Bennett, former Northern news editor of the Sunday Mirror and another former president of the press club, said: “Alan Jones has been my dearest friend and closest confidant for more than 50 years.

“He was a truly remarkable journalist, respected throughout the media world for his professionalism and integrity. His love for his colleagues and the Liverpool Press Club was legendary.

“His passion to maintain and grow the club and foster its worldwide relationships has been a shining example to anyone, of any age, who is proud to be journalist and proud to have worked or hailed from Liverpool.”

After begininning his career on the Widnes Weekly News, Alan spent 18 months in National Service in the Royal Signals Regiment, before returning to journalism.

He soon landed a job as a reporter and later a sub-editor with the Daily Express before becoming a freelance and setting up his own agency in Liverpool in the 1960s.

Press Club organiser Chris Johnson said: “I’m truly honoured to have counted Alan as a friend. I got to know him over the last twenty years and was privileged to earn his trust.

“Alan was unique and I never heard a bad word spoken about him. He was real gentleman who simply exuded charm and combined a great sense of humour with unshakable integrity that endeared him everyone he met.

“His most amazing talent was the knack he possessed of effortlessly influencing people to do the right thing, usually with nothing more than a wrinkled grin, gently raised eyebrow or a frown of dismay.

“With Alan’s passing a real giant of our generation has been lost. We really will never see his like again.”

Alan is survived by his wife Ann, son Matthew, daughter Annette and their grandchildren.