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Fleet Street ‘legend’ who began in regional press dies aged 77

Picture courtesy of News UK

Picture courtesy of News Corp

A Fleet Street “legend” who began his career at regional newspapers across the North of England has died aged 77.

Tributes have been paid to Vic Mayhew, pictured left, a former sub-editor on several national newspapers, who began his career on the Bootle Times aged 16.

In an obituary for Media Guardian, Vic’s former colleague Roy Greenslade told how he then decided to change careers and completed police training, before abandoning the idea to work on the Wakefield Express.

He later moved on to the Yorkshire Evening Post, in Doncaster, where he met his future wife Ann.

After they eloped to Gretna Green, Vic secured a job on the Sheffield Telegraph before moving to a subbing post for the Daily Mirror in Manchester.

From there, he worked at various times on the Daily Express, the Mirror, The Sun, Today and the News of the World over the course of his career.

In his tribute piece, Roy wrote: “Within hours, his many old friends and colleagues were referring to him in their tributes as ‘a legend’, an overused epithet that, in Vic’s case, was deserved.

“Many Mayhew anecdotes – like those about renting a mansion and keeping a donkey in the kitchen; being frozen to the seat of his motorbike; night-editing the Mirror while spending four hours in the pub; taking ‘a break’ to move his car and failing to return to the office until the following day – were quickly retold.

“The fact is that no-one got into as many scrapes. No-one burned as many bridges. No-one exasperated as many of his bosses. And no-one, surely, had such a crazy career?

“But who could not be won over by that boyish, dazzling smile? And who could not fail to enjoy, albeit vicariously, his devil-may-care attitude towards anything smacking of authority?”

Vic, who died after a battle with lung cancer, is survived by Ann, four children, 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.