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Terminally-ill former regional journalist dies weeks after wedding

A former regional daily journalist who married his long-term partner after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer has died just weeks later.

Neil Farnworth, a former sports reporter and sub-editor at the Lancashire Evening Post, married Eileen Marsh in March after suddenly being diagnosed with the illness.

But, five weeks after the pair wed at Preston register office, Neil passed away at their home in Fulwood, Preston, aged 75.

Tributes have been paid to Neil who spent more than 40 years in journalism with the LEP and its sister title the Chorley Guardian.

Neil, right, with Eileen on their wedding day

Neil, right, with Eileen on their wedding day

LEP editor Gillian Parkinson, who worked with Neil in the 1990s, said: “Neil was always a valued member of the sports team here at the Evening Post and we are very sad to hear of his death.

“He was a gregarious person who loved being a part of the buzz of the newsroom. He will be sadly missed.”

The couple were together for 24 years and met at the rest home Eileen, now 69, worked at during a campaign the LEP was running to fund new medical equipment.

The shock of his diagnosis in January had spurred Neil, who lost his first wife in her 40s, to pop the question to Eileen in order to give her some security in law after his death.

She told the LEP: “It’s come very quickly. He was a great man, a friend to everyone. He had a great sense of humour and was a bit of a rum one.

“In the last five weeks we’ve tried to spend as much time together as possible. I miss him terribly.”

Neil, a lover of music and sport, played for years in a skiffle band called the Ramblin Riversiders and had recently learnt to play the bass guitar.

He passed away last month and is survived by daughter, Paula, son Stuart, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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  • May 3, 2016 at 10:27 am

    When I became editor of the Chorley & Leyland Guardian, Neil was a part-time sub. He soon realised I liked cricket and came up to my desk to introduce himself. “Chris,” he said. “Every cricket team needs a couple of stylish opening bats and an elegant number three. Well I’m none of those but I will be your solid, dependable number five. I might not be as pleasing on the eye as some of the others but I’m a team player and I won’t let you down.”
    He never did let me down and will be much missed.

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