Mike Treacy, left, began his working life at Grimsby fish docks but became a journalist after winning a place on the NCTJ course at Richmond College, Sheffield, in 1985.
Mike suffered a severe stroke in the spring of 2014 and despite initially making a partial recovery, he died at the Sue Ryder Home in Ipswich last month.
One of the highlights of his time in Leicester was an interview with astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who told him walking on the moon was “kinda lonesome.”
Mike learned his subbing and production skills at the Mercury before moving to the EADT, where he was appointed chief sub and went on to fill a variety of roles in design and on the sports desk.
After leaving the industry in 2009, he continued to pursue his love of travel, teaching English as a foreign language in places such as Spain and Kazakhstan.
Friend and ex-EADT colleague Martin Chambers said: “Mike was a straight-up guy. If he liked you, you stayed liked; ditto if he didn’t. He didn’t sit on fences.”
“He was a great journalist; probably what is now called old-school. He believed in well-written copy in the same way he believed in well-written soul songs.”
Former EADT music editor Tony Shevlin added: “Mike gave off this northern tough-guy image but he was actually a caring, thoughtful and considerate person.
“I shall treasure the many hours we spent together talking about life, football, music and movies. I’m so glad I got to know the real Mike.”
Outside journalism, his big passion was Northern Soul music – he went to the original Wigan Casino “all-nighters” and held his own soul nights in Ipswich, which were well-attended.
Former EADT picture editor Paul Nixon said: “We had a common love for soul music and spent many hours swapping tapes and listening to records.”
College friend and former journalist Hilary Ford, who knew Mike for 30 years, also recalled Mike’s love of film and “wicked sense of humour.”
She added: “To me, more than anything else, he was simply one of my best friends; the guy who introduced me to soul music and The African Queen – and I will miss him.”