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Former weeklies’ editor dies aged 69 after cancer fight

Bill AllenThe former editor of two weekly newspapers has died aged 69 after a battle with cancer.

Tributes have been paid to Bill Allen, pictured left, former editor of the Farnworth and Worsley Journal and the Bury Times, where he spent 14 years in charge.

Known to many by his middle name Fred, Bill spent much of his journalism career in the Lancashire area.

However, he also spent time abroad working on newspapers in Australia.

Bill began his career on the Radcliffe Times and worked his way up to become editor of the Farnworth and Worsley Journal in the 1980s.

He joined the Bury Times in 1989, serving as its editor between 1991 and 2004.

Friend and colleague John Ellaby said: “I had a great regard for Bill, having worked with him for many years, first on the former Farnworth and Worsley Journal and later at the Bury Times.

“He edited both papers and proved himself time and time again to be a great journalist with a keen news sense who always had time to help and guide young reporters.

“But he could be a tough taskmaster and woe betide any reporter who messed up a story. Having said that, he was one of the kindest and most sincere bosses you could ever meet.”

Outside of work, Bill was a keen cricketer who also played Sunday League football until the age of 62, around the same time he took early retirement.

In 2014, at the age of 67, he travelled to Rwanda with the charity Cricket without Boundaries to spread the sport though coaching and link it to HIV/AIDS awareness.

Andy Scoble, now senior content editor at the Bolton News, said: “Bill gave me my first proper job in journalism at the Worsley Journal after I had finished university, and also took me on as a sub-editor at the Bury Times a few years later.

“He was a fiercely loyal man, a wonderful story-teller and a great friend who maintained his dry sense of humour even when he was seriously ill.”

Bill, who passed away on 27 July, is survived by his wife Lynne, three children and grandchildren.