Legendary Welsh cartoonist Gren has died

The South Wales Echo's legendary cartoonist Gren has died at the age of 72.

The man who had made Wales laugh every day died peacefully early yesterday morning (Thursday) with his sons Darryl and Chris by his side.

The loss of the cartoonist, who was synonymous with Wales, Welsh rugby and Valleys humour, immediately prompted tributes from all over Wales.

Echo editor Richard Williams said: "Gren made our readers laugh every day for coming up to 40 years. We know many readers would turn straight to page eight for his daily cartoon of life in South Wales and they will miss his humour.

"Gren was a big part of the Echo and we have been honoured to have featured his skills for all these years. We share our readers' grief that Wales has lost one her most talented sons."

Entertainer Max Boyce said: "He summed up Wales in a way no one else could."

A book of condolence has been set up for readers at the Echo's offices in Cardiff and fans from across the world have been paying tribute in an online book on the icWales website.

The miner's son from Hengoed was taken ill at his home in Llandaff, Cardiff, on Wednesday morning and was taken by ambulance to the University Hospital of Wales.

Despite officially bowing out of the Echo's Cardiff offices when he retired in June 1999, he continued to work from home and refused to slow down his pace, continuing to produce the cartoons that have entertained generations each day.

He never missed a deadline and rarely took a holiday, remaining professional to the end. From his hospital bedside on Thursday, Gren repeatedly asked his family to check that the day's cartoon was on its way to the Echo offices. In line with his wishes, they insisted that Thursday's paper carried his final cartoon.

Sandra Loy is deputy editor of the South Wales Echo.

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