Steve McLean

The assistant editor of the Bristol Evening Post, Steve McLean, died on 11 July of cancer.

McLean, who was 45, leaves a widow, Nicola, and a son Patrick, aged nine.

He was born in Liverpool and spent all his working life in newspapers, starting in in 1976 on the Lincolnshire and South Humberside Times as a trainee reporter. He went on to work as a reporter for the Sheffield Star and the Evening News in Edinburgh where he spent five years.

He became deputy editor of the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald in 1987 and was then appointed editor of the Chorley Guardian Series in 1994, where he won the Newspaper Society Campaigning Newspaper of the Year Award.

A year later he came editor of the Gazette series of papers in Dursley. It was from there he joined the Evening Post in 1996, initially as deputy chief sub. Twelve months later he was appointed chief sub and last November was promoted to assistant editor.

Evening Post editor Mike Lowe said: "We are all desperately sad. Steve was a dedicated journalist, a perfectionist who wanted to produce the best papers possible.

"We will all miss him as journalist but more importantly we will miss him as a colleague and friend."

McLean had been diagnosed with cancer on 26 April. In a deeply moving article written shortly after he was diagnosed, he wrote: "I may only have a 50 per cent chance of seeing out the next year. It’s an old man’s disease, one I shouldn’t have got, if I was going to get it, until maybe I was 70. But I have an amazing wife, a son who is my world and I’m only 45."

He showed no self-pity and from the moment he knew he had cancer he remained positive and resolute and, remarkably, he remained cheerful. Work was important to him but nothing was more important than his family.

He wrote this of his son, whom he called Paddy and used to ring every morning before school: "On the night he arrived at St Michael’s Hospital on July 4, 1993, my world was complete. Nicola and he were everything I’d ever wanted and the drive home to Farrington Gurney in our battered Volvo in the early hours of the next morning was like a dream limousine ride."

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