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Posthumous honour for journalist who died on cruise

Bob Horn, pictured in 1997

A former regional press journalist who is believed to have drowned after falling overboard from a cruise ship has received a posthumous award.

Bob Horn, who spent most of his career with the Sunderland Echo before retiring 10 years ago, had been on an Atlantic cruise with his brother when he fell from the liner shortly after a visit to Montevideo in Uruguay.

The 69-year-old from Grindon in County Durham had enjoyed a long and distinguished career at the Echo, and also served more than 50 years as treasurer of his local NUJ branch.

Now the union has honoured him with its Gold Badge – making him only the second member in its history to have been granted the top award posthumously.

Presenting the award to Bob’s family, Northern and Midlands NUJ organiser Chris Morley, said: “This is a bittersweet moment, because the presentation of the NUJ Gold Badge is an honour given by members to a colleague.

“It is a celebration of years of commitment and dedication to the union and members by an honourable and courageous colleague. However, the sad truth is, tragically, Bob will never receive it.”

Chris said Bob had made an outstanding contribution to the union and also paid tribute to his “incredibly important” work serving the community as the Echo’s district reporter covering Houghton.

Among Bob’s family present to accept the award were his brother David and nephew Robert.

Said Robert: “I’m lost for words. All I can say is that I’m very proud to accept this award for Bob.”

Also present at the ceremony were former Echo colleagues Caroline Sword and Graeme Anderson.

Remembering Bob: From let, former Echo journalist Caroline Sword, Bob's nephew Robert Horn, Echo sports writer Graeme Anderson, Bob's brother David Horn, and Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser.