Terry O'Hanlon

Veteran Sunday Mirror reporter Terry O'Hanlon has died, aged 64.

Colleagues mourned him as a master of his craft, renowned for his charm and calm nature, his loyalty to friends and his patience with young journalists.

Terry was a formidable journalist and a gentleman, a distinguished yet modest figure in the tough, frantic arena of Fleet Street. Those who worked alongside him could not remember one time when he ever raised his deeply mellow voice in anger.

On the most pressured of days, he was the calm at the centre of the whirlwind.

"Hello my dear chap," he would say, to some weary staff man calling in from a far-flung place, "how lovely to hear you."

His ill health can be traced directly back to Bob Maxwell. Bob took a shine to TOH and personally issued orders that Terry should cover for all three Mirror titles Maxwell's attendance at the birthday party in Tangier of US financier Steve Forbes.

Unfortunately, Terry went down with what he believed was a nasty tummy bug, which turned out to be a waterborn bug which damaged vital organs and almost killed him.

There was at that time no known cure. Terry was put on steroids which kept the bug at bay and kept him alive.

He was on steroids for around 12 years, which caused other serious damage to Terry's system which led eventually to the fatal cancer.

Throughout this period he maintained his good humour and professionalism at work. Approximately six years ago, long before the cancer was diagnosed, Terry was told by his specialist that he had at best five years.

He left school at 16 and his first job was on the Competitive Journal. He then moved to the Croydon Times as a reporter.

In 1973, he joined the Daily Express as a crime reporter, and three or four years later joined the reporting staff of the Daily Mirror.

After a few years he left to run a general store and cafe in Devon. He also started and ran a snooker magazine, and joined Ted Hynds at the Devon news agency.

Around this period his marriage broke down. Terry arrived back in London, broke, with no home and only his car to sleep in.

He bumped into a former colleague, Brian Cashinella, who gave him a job.

In 1988, Terry rejoined the Mirror Group, first on he daily and then the

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