A journalist who achieved the dream of reporting on his favourite football club has died aged 61.
Tributes have been paid to Paul Tully, left, who covered Newcastle United FC for Newcastle daily The Chronicle.
Paul worked for The Chronicle from the 1980s, first in news and then sports, before moving to cover United in the 1990s.
Between 2010 and 2013 he served as Hexham reporter for sister daily The Journal.
Former Chronicle editor Paul Robertson said: “Paul was a much-loved and respected colleague. He was a larger-than-life character who was particularly supportive to young reporters at the start of their career.
“His real passion was sport and in particular football. What he didn’t know about Newcastle United and non-league football in the region wasn’t worth knowing.”
Paul also spent time as editor of United’s official matchday programme, and the club’s official Twitter account posted staff there were “saddened” to learn of his passing.
Also a passionate supporter of non-league football, and the Northern League in particular, he was also a season ticket holder at Blyth Spartans AFC.
Photographer Ian Horrocks, who worked with Paul at The Chronicle and later the club. said: “Paul was one of the happiest people I have met in life and also one of the best writers, his knowledge of football at all levels was immense.
“He loved a visit to a Northern League match on Saturday and loved a curry afterwards. He will be sadly missed.”
Craig Hope, Daily Mail North-East football correspondent, added: “Our perfect lunchtime routine would be a trip to The Back Page book shop on St Andrew’s Street followed by a visit to Chinatown. He taught me a lot as a journalist – not least his attention to detail and passion for our trade.
“I was amazed at the paper records he kept of each match he attended and of every NUFC player, past and present. He was a gentleman and a friend I’m lucky to have spent so much time with.”
Paul, who passed way last Friday, is survived by his mother and his older brother Graham.