Scottish weeklies editor-in-chief dies at 59

The editor-in-chief of Scottish & Universal Newspapers Joe Kelly has died after becoming ill with cancer.

Kelly, who was 59, died in Glasgow’s Victoria Infirmary Hospital last Thursday.

His funeral was held yesterday at St Columbkille’s Church in Rutherglen, followed by cremation at the Linn Crematorium.

Bill Steven, S&UN managing director, said: “Joe was a terrific character who took great pride in his work and our papers.

“He was also a talented journalist and extremely able manager who has left an indelible mark on the company.

“Above all, however, he was a genuine guy and considered a real friend by the people with whom he worked. He will be sorely missed.”

Kelly’s 42-year career in journalism reached its peaked in 2002 with his appointment as editor-in-chief of Scottish and Universal Newspapers, owned by Trinity Mirror, where he took overall responsibility for 30 weekly titles.

His career started in 1968 when he joined Beaverbrook Newspapers in Glasgow as a copy taker and reporter for the Daily Express and the Evening Citizen.

Two years later he joined the Rutherglen Reformer as a reporter before being promoted to chief reporter at the paper in 1975.

Kelly’s long association with the Reformer’s sister paper, the Hamilton Advertiser, started in 1979 when he was appointed the paper’s assistant editor.

Three years later he became production editor for the company’s Lanarkshire and Lothian titles.

Kelly was for three years editor of another S&UN title, the Lothian Courier, based in Bathgate, before returning to the Advertiser in 1995 as editor.

In 2005, he added the editorship of the Reformer to his list of responsibilities.

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