AddThis SmartLayers

Journalists thank charity which helped return colleague’s body to family

Gary GillilandEx-colleagues raised £400 for the charity which helped return a former regional journalist’s body to his family after his sudden death.

Friends of Gary Gilliland, left, who died in May aged 40, collected the cash at an inaugural quiz night held in his memory.

Originally from Belfast, Gary worked on the city’s News Letter title and also worked on the Liverpool Echo, having been based on Merseyside for the past seven years.

He had moved back to Belfast recently after being taken ill, but was found dead in his Liverpool flat after returning there to attend an Iron Maiden concert with friends.

Gary worked on a variety of sports publications at Trinity Mirror Sport Media, serving as a sub-editor and production journalist on the magazines and matchday programmes of football clubs Chelsea and Stoke City, as well as Manchester United, the team he supported.

Following his death Gary’s body was returned to his family in Belfast with the help of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, and it was this charity for which his former Sport Media colleagues decided to raise funds in his memory.

A statement on behalf of the Sport Media chapel of the National Union of Journalists reads: “His legacy at Sport Media though will be the results of his unwavering steel and determination that were instrumental during a three-year-long battle to secure chapel recognition.

“Friends and colleagues there will be forever grateful for his efforts in giving staff a voice in an ever-increasingly-demanding environment.

“Friends at Sport Media raised almost £400 for the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust – who had arranged for Gary to be flown home for his funeral – at the inaugural Gary Gilliland Memorial Quiz night, where rounds and questions were themed on Gary’s background and many interests.

“The Sport Media chapel would like to pass on our thanks to Chris Morley, Jane Kennedy and fellow NUJ members for their support at such a difficult time.”