Former Express & Star deputy editor Bill Jolly

Former Midlands newspaper executive Bill Jolly has died at his Wolverhampton home, aged 86.

William Vincent Jolly was the news editor and deputy editor of the Wolverhampton Express & Star for many years, until his retirement in 1981.

Born in Ormskirk, he started life in newspapers as a cub reporter on the Liverpool Echo, later moving to the Express & Star at its Stafford district office.

He became the paper’s municipal correspondent and then news editor and deputy editor.

Former Express & Star managing director and editor Mr Keith Parker said: ‘Bill was a powerful figure when the Express & Star was achieving its biggest-ever circulation and when it was in mortal combat for sales every day with the Birmingham Evening Mail.

‘He did much to build the reputation and success of the paper with its coverage of local news throughout the Black Country and Staffordshire to become the best evening newspaper in the country.”

The paper’s cuurrent editor, Adrian Faber, added: ‘Bill was extremely well respected in the industry. He was a very sharp operator and is very fondly remembered by everyone who remember him here at the Express & Star.”

After his retirement, Jolly spent some years doing voluntary work with talking newspapers for the blind and was chairman of the appeals committee of the Wolverhampton, Dudley and Districts nstitute for the Blind.

He helped co-ordinate appeals that brought in tens of thousands of pounds, providing help both in the community and at the Beacon Centre for the Blind in Sedgley.

Jolly had also been a member of the Rotary Club of Wolverhampton for 40 years and was last year made an honorary life member of the club.

Last year, he and his wife Muriel celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary and became great grandparents.

He is survived by his wife and their two daughters, Hilary and Jane, who each have a son and a daughter.

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