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Journalist dies aged 65 after suffering heart attack on train

Paul DavidsonA former regional daily chief reporter who went on to forge a career on Fleet Street has died after suffering a suspected heart attack on his way home from work.

Tributes have been paid to Paul Davidson, 65, who passed away on a train after finishing his sub-editing shift at The Sun last Thursday.

Paul began his career at his hometown newspaper the Grantham Journal, before becoming chief reporter at the Colchester Gazette.

In a tribute to Paul for Media Guardian, media commentator Roy Greenslade noted the contacts he made in Essex would later prove vital when he moved to the Sunday People.

He wrote: “Davidson’s skills and confidence impressed Frank Thorne, then a Sunday People reporter, when they first met in 1983 while working on what became an infamous unsolved murder – the disappearance of Diane Jones, wife of a doctor in Coggeshall, Essex.

“The case captured national headlines after she was reported missing by her husband some nine days after last being seen. Her body was found three months later.

“With Davidson’s help through his Colchester contacts, the People was able to splash on exclusive revelations about Mrs Jones’s secret private life.”

Frank added: “The elitist daily boys looked down their noses at Paul because he was from the local paper, but I could see they had made a big mistake.

“He was one of the best journalists I ever met.”

Dave Clark, who knew Paul for 40 years, said: “As a reporter he was the bravest of the bunch.

“Chasing villains and murder suspects around dockland pubs for the Colchester Evening Gazette, or unearthing big scandal for the People, he would knock on the doors others feared to approach.”

Paul is survived by his wife Shirley, children and grandchildren.

Funeral details have yet to be announced.


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  • February 12, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Sad to see a guy not live to enjoy some retirement. Sounds like a hell of a reporter. RIP.

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  • February 12, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Lots of us from Colchester will have fond memories of Paul’s time there as chief reporter, FoC, and lynchpin of the office’s social scene; also a valuable mentor to cub reporters such as I. Very sad news.

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  • February 17, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Jon Young’s tribute is as accurate and succinct as ever. Paul cared deeply about his colleagues’ welfare as well as being a superb journalist and great company. Sad news indeed.

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