During his time at the paper, Terry helped to train dozens of reporters as well as reporting on the town’s Northampton Saints rugby union side.
He died in Northampton General Hospital on Wednesday after a short illness. Funeral details are yet to be announced.
Chronicle & Echo sports editor Jeremy Casey described Terry as “a real character and an excellent writer” who was admired and respected by his colleagues.
He said: “Terry was from the old school of journalism, he liked a pint and a smoke, and he was somebody I admired and respected greatly.
“When I started at the Chron in the early 1990s, I only knew Terry by reputation, that he didn’t suffer fools gladly and was no-nonsense. I was a bit wary of meeting him to be honest.
“What I had been told was true, but underneath the tough exterior, Terry was a big softie really with a big heart, and always good company.
“He covered the Saints for the Chron for many, many years, but it was never a chore for Tel, who embraced the sport’s switch from an amateur game to a professional one with genuine enthusiasm, and relished the challenge.
“Players and coaches may not always have agreed with what Terry may have written about them at times, but they always respected him. And that is important.”
Chronicle & Echo deputy editor (communities) Graham Tebbutt, who worked Terry for 15 years, described him as a local newspaper “legend”.
He said: “When I started reporting on the Saints for the rival Northants Post newspaper in the mid-1980s, he was such a great help to me.
“When I joined the Chron in 1991 and had a chance to work alongside him in the newsroom, I soon realised his talents extended beyond sport, and he was equally experienced dealing with police and council matters too.
“There are many journalists around today who have Terry to thank for the grounding, training and advice he gave them… me included.”
Steve Scoles, who worked on the Chronicle & Echo newsdesk with Terry, added: “We were all a bit frightened of Terry because he called it as he saw it without fear or favour.
“He could be stubborn but he would speak up for reporters in news conferences. As news editor I tended to start the day and Terry would finish it, almost completely unlike a charming prince rescuing a damsel in distress.
“He was very proud of his son and the Saints recent successes would have made him happier than anything that ever happened at work. A lot of people will be raising a glass to him including me.”
Terry is survived by wife Trudy, sons James and Samuel, daughter Emmeline and nine grandchildren.