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Journalist to run in former news chief’s memory

A former colleague of a Hartlepool Mail journalist who died suddenly after suffering a heart attack last year will be running the Great North Run this weekend in his memory.

Paul Watson, left, who was the Mail’s head of news, died last November at the age of 50 leaving his colleagues and family devastated.

He joined the Mail as its news editor in 2007 then became head of news in 2010, having previously spent a decade working for the Press Association and before that for the Sunderland Echo.

Just weeks before he died Paul had been moved after writing an article about organ donors and was so touched he decided to become one himself.

Tom Wilkinson is running the Great North Run this weekend

After he died, his organs were donated and helped to give change the lives of three people.

Now Tom Wilkinson, who worked with Paul at the Press Association, is getting on his running boots to raise money for LIVErNORTH, which helps liver patients in the North of England.

Dad-of-two Tom, 40, from Chester le Street, said: “Paul was my immediate boss and friend for almost a decade and a lovely man to work with.

“His death shocked us all and by donating his organs he managed to change lives. I just wanted to do something fitting in his memory and with (his long-term partner) Pauline’s help I chose this one.”

Paul was crowned the North East Journalist of the Year at the prestigious Tom Cordner Awards in 2009 and was involved with many campaigns for the regional daily paper which supported worthy causes.

Pauline Scott added: “Paul would have been very proud.”

LIVErNORTH is run by unpaid volunteers and is based at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

To make a contribution to Tom’s page click here.