One of northern England’s best-known national newspapermen, Leslie Poole – “the Horse” to his many friends and colleagues – died after a series of serious illnesses.
Les, 48 years a journalist, spent 32 of them on the Daily Express. He joined the paper as Merseyside district reporter from a similar post with the Daily Mail.
For his ?nal ?ve years before retirement in 1985, he was senior assistant news editor on the Daily Express’s Manchester news desk.
Poole of the “Pool”, as Liverpudlian as the Liver Bird, was a personal friend of Prime Minister Harold Wilson, a Merseyside MP. They drank regularly together in Liverpool Press Club. His great Merseyside sense of fun made even Liverpudlian comedians such as Tommy Handley, Arthur Askey and Ken Dodd rock with laughter.
Last year Prince Charles visited the Liverpool hospital where Poole was a patient. He reminded him that he had covered the royal walk to the crest of Snowdon on the eve of his investiture as the Prince of Wales. “A very warm day I remember,” said Charles. To which Poole retorted: “Yes – you looked at my bottle of lemonade and said how thirsty you were. So I offered you a swig, but you drank the whole bloody lot!” Bursting into laughter Charles said: “Oh, I do most sincerely apologise.” Later the prince autographed a picture of the two of them chuckling together about it all and had it sent to Poole.
In a tribute, the Horse’s last news editor, Stanley Blenkinsop, said: “Liverpool has produced very many ?ne journalists – but none ?ner than Les Poole. No one could have had a greater colleague.”