Fleet Street legend Phil Mellor has died aged 69 after a year-long battle with cancer.
Mellor was a former deputy news editor on the Daily Mirror and night editor at the Sunday Mirror.
He began his career at the Bury Times in the 1960s before moving to the Bolton Evening News and later the Daily Sketch.
While at the Mirror, he oversaw coverage of the Lockerbie and Hillsborough disasters.
Former Daily Mirror news editor Tom Hendry said of Mellor: “He was unique, a one-off chap, always cheerful and was one of the funniest people alive.
“The three loves of his life were one, his family; two journalism, and three, Bury football club.
“Despite his wonderful sense of humour, he was the ultimate professional. He was the best colleague anyone could have had in terms of his professionalism, ensuring the Mirror always came out tops.”
Mellor leaves behind wife Anne, sons James and Ed, two grandsons, and his mother Joan.
Hendry also shared a number of witticisms from Mellor during his career, including:
- “That story’s so old, it should be written in Latin” – said to one reporter
- “The Gettysburg address was only 277 words… pretend you are sending a telegram” – told to a reporter who had written a long intro
- “He could start a fight in an empty lift” – how Mellor described one Mirror executive
- “I can’t remember the 24 hour doorstep I dispatched that reporter on but he probably deserved it” – said to a luckless hack.