The Oldham Evening Chronicle’s assistant editor, Jim Austin, has died at the age of 61.
Jim, who had been with the newspaper since 1966, died in the Royal Oldham Hospital on Saturday, 25 September. Born and bred in Oldham, he had a twin brother, Fred, who is a freelance journalist.
Jim’s career began at the Accrington Observer when he was 16 – where he covered Accrington Stanley’s football league matches – and then the Burnley Star .
After a spell at the Lancashire Evening Telegraph in Blackburn, he joined the Oldham Evening Chronicle as a news reporter, then worked in sport, before returning to news where he became chief sub-editor, then assistant editor.
At the same time, his brother Fred made his career in journalism at OldhamPress Agency.
Jim was also a respected sub-editor at the Sunday Express, where he worked at weekends for many years, at the old Great Ancoats Street newspaper offices.
Jim leaves his wife, Ruth, and three sons, Conrad, Jason and Karl. He had become a grandfather for the first time in July when Jason’s son Cameron James was born.
Chronicle editor Jim Williams said: “Jim Austin was the consummate professional and proof that not all the best journalists head for national newspaper fame and fortune.
“A first-class sub-editor, he had a rare gift for design and put together some of the Chronicle’s most attractive pages over the past two decades.
“He was admired and respected by his colleagues and his sense of humour and ready wit made him a joy to have around. We have all lost not only a valued colleague but a great friend.