A former regional journalist who went on to a career with the nationals has died aged 50.
Tributes have been paid to Simon Ricketts, formerly of the Watford Observer, who had battled cancer for several years.
In a 2016 blog post revealing his cancer has become terminal, Simon said of the Observer that he had considered himself “lucky to have worked for a local newspaper I loved.”
Simon’s death was announced on Saturday by his screenwriter partner Andrea Gibb, who posted on Twitter: “I’m so sad to let you know that our beloved Simon died earlier today.
“He endured a great deal over the past year, but he was Simon N Ricketts till the end; stubborn, funny, brave, kind and loving. He had the heart of a lion and we loved him very much.”
Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media, said: “Simon was a wonderful Guardian journalist whose warmth and wit found a wide and appreciative audience on social media.
“He was an excellent, committed editor as well as a fun and loyal colleague. He maintained a fierce, gentle humanity in the face of great suffering. He will be deeply missed by everyone at The Guardian.”