Patrick McGowan, one of the Evening Standard’s most experienced hard news reporters, has died at the age of 60 – writes former colleague Paul Cheston.
Patrick, a resolute Yorkshireman, was an outstanding crime and court reporter in a career that spanned four decades on this paper.
His forte was the really big stories of that era and he was the first man in Fleet Street to break major developments in cases such as Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov, the Piper Alpha diaster and mass murderer Harold Shipman.
He was also the first man to coin the phrase “the wrong type of snow” which caught the imagination of the Standard’s beleaguered commuter readers.
Patrick joined the Standard in 1978 from the Bradford Telegraph and Argus and quickly established himself as crime reporter.
Later he covered some of Britain’s most important Old Bailey trials including the Soham murderer Ian Huntley, Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe and former Tory Cabinet Minister Jonathan Aitken.
In 2005 he left the Evening Standard to fulfil a long-standing ambition to be a train driver for South West Trains and revelled in taking former colleagues in and out of Waterloo.
He leaves his wife Margaret, a former journalist on the Bradford Telegraph & Argus, and two daughters, Eve, a former Mail on Sunday journalist, and Stella.
His funeral will take place at Mortlake Crematorium at 10.40 on Wednesday, 29 February.
Family flowers only but friends who wish to donate to Patrick’s charity should write cheques to The Cave Rescue Organisation (which does cave and fell rescues in the Dales) and send to the undertakers, Holmes and Daughters, 461 Upper Richmond Road, East Sheen, SW14 7PU).