Former Daily Echo editor Neal Butterworth dies aged 55: 'A joy to work with...a great editor'

Former Daily Echo editor Neal Butterworth has died of cancer aged 55, two years after leaving his job with Newsquest.

Butterworth had been editor of the Bournemouth-based title from 1998 to 2011 and was also group editor in charge of the Dorset Echo.

The Echo reports that he had just moved to Spain with his wife when he was  diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Wife Julie told the Daily Echo: “We have lost one of life's very special and truly wonderful people. He will leave a massive hole in many people's lives that will never be filled.”

His brother Mark told the paper: “I do know that he was held in huge esteem by so many people and did a lot of amazing things in the community. We have always been incredibly proud of him.”

Former managing director of the Daily Echo Mike Wright told the paper: “It was a privilege to work with Neal at the Daily Echo. He was a joy to work with, a great editor, amusing writer and a man who always had time and a smile for his friends. My thoughts are with his family at this sad time." 

In February 2011, Press Gazette asked Neal Butterworth about the stand-out achievements of his time as editor. He said: “I'm most proud of creating a newspaper and a working environment that encourages individuality, creativity, pride and humour. Journalists are born prima donnas and whingers, but give then the opportunity to shine and they will always excite you. That and the £7m our readers have raised for charities."

In recent months he had been involved with a project to launch a new fortnightly free newspaper for Poole and Bournemouth.

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