THE Evening Gazette on Teesside was in deep mourning after the tragic death of its award-winning journalist Tony Dumphy. Tony, aged 53, died at home in Great Ayton on Thursday September 9, with his family beside him.
He had been diagnosed with cancer in July. He joined the Evening Gazette in 1979 as a sub-editor, quickly working his way up the ranks to become chief sub editor in 1989. He was made production editor in 1994 and since 1996 had held the position as head of editorial production. It was in these senior design roles that Tony three times won ‘The Splash Award’ for front and back-page sub-editing in the North-east regional press awards.
The hat-trick came in May this year. It was a career which also saw Tony train many of today’s top journalists – many of whom kept in touch with him despite working on nationals and as executives on papers up and down the country. Editor Steve Dyson said: “Tony was the kind of journalist who could take your breath away. “He could tweak journalists’ copy better than anyone else so that it sparkled; he could create superb headlines that shone brightly; and yet he also worked tirelessly at keeping the production wheels of the Gazette moving smoothly, ensuring the six-day-a-week, multi-edition newspaper was always out on the streets in time for eager readers. “He would delight in adding his own touch of quality to every edition, tackling new technology, guiding numerous editors and driving the whole newsfloor with enthusiasm along the way.”
Tony, originally from Manchester, spent a total of 25 years at the Evening Gazette’s Borough Road headquarters. He had previously worked in journalism at She magazine and on a weekly series of papers. Before joining the Gazette, Tony spent some time teaching English in Spain, where he had also worked as a shepherd. He was proud of this background, as he was of working as a milkman and in a brewery on returning to England. But his real passions were his family, the Gazette, Teesside and Manchester City.
He leaves a wife, Barbara, and two children, Alex and Alison.
A full obituary on Tony Dumphy’s life and career will appear in Press Gazette on Friday.