Michael Edmands, who was a subeditor with The Guardian from 1977 to 1997, has died after a short illness. He was 71.
Edmands was born in west London in 1933 and during the Second World War endured the shock of seeing his Royal Marine father killed in a Luftwaffe raid on Portsmouth. He spent the rest of the war at boarding school before heading to America’s east coast to join his mother, who had emigrated there with her daughter.
High school and college followed and, as a football fanatic, one of his proudest boasts in those years was to have played in goal for Boston University first team against an Agha Khan XI.
On graduating he was drawn to journalism and worked for a variety of publications in and around New York – principally for The Wall Street Journal and as an associate editor for weekly business magazine Barron’s.
Although by now married with a son, he yearned to return to Britain and did so in the summer of 1966 to see England lift the World Cup.
The euphoria of the trip stayed with him and he vowed to settle in Britain, which he did in 1972. Edmands worked for a variety of publications in London, notably the Daily Mail and Evening Standard, before joining The Guardian. He worked as a business and finance sub-editor for 20 years and, on retiring, wrote regularly for the paper’s Jobs & Money supplement.
His Anglo-American background informed much of his outlook on life, his tastes and his interests. He travelled widely, but particularly to the US where, at one stage, he was returning about four or five times a year to see family and friends. He followed most sports, but especially football and his beloved QPR. He loved the arts in general, but the cinema particularly, of which he had an encyclopaedic knowledge.
His gentle style and bonhomie will be much missed by friends and former colleagues, inside and outside journalism and on both sides of the Atlantic.
He leaves a wife Rose, whom he married in 1989, and a son, Mark, by his first marriage to Florence.
Norman Hayden, business and finance sub-editor, The Guardian
Rob Firth, The Guardian’s business production editor, said: “Mike was one of the nicest guys in journalism.
He was a joy to work with and became a great friend. When he returned to Britain he fell in love with hot-metal Fleet Street and its wonderful cast of characters and achieved his aim of becoming a national newspaperman.
“While still very American in outlook in many ways, he loved Britain and was fiercely patriotic, always attending Trooping the Colour and the Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph in memory of his father who died in the last war and his grandfather who fought in the first.
He would also be seen at Ascot, the Last Night of the Proms, Test matches and other traditional events.
“His friends will miss him terribly, not least for his fund of stories and anecdotes and his tips to see unusual films and read little-known books.”