Tony Hoare - Former deputy northern editor of the Daily Mail

Former deputy northern editor of the Daily Mail, Tony Hoare, one of
the craftsmen who shaped the Mail we know today, has died suddenly,
aged 65, after a long battle with ill health.

It was a battle he fought with courage, vision and a will to succeed; the same personal strengths he brought to his journalism.

Tony
demanded the highest standards of himself and all those who worked for
him: quality reporting, quality writing, nothing less, at all times.

He
loved an industry that he had been born into. His father Gilbert was
sports editor of the Sunday Despatch, and Tony went from school to join
the Sale & Altrincham Guardian, then on to the Oldham Chronicle.

He
joined the Mail in 1962, the start of a career spanning nearly 30
years, which took him from reporter to newsdesk executive to picture
editor to deputy editor at the paper’s Manchester offices.

It was a period of revolution when the Mail was being transformed under David English, and not merely in looks.

Its
content became fuller, more polished and better endowed with what
English defined as “panache and style”, and it was Tony’s job to help
drive that change.

He wasn’t a layout man, he was a words man. He
would rigorously go through copy, looking for the question that had
been left unasked, the line that had been overlooked, the phrase that
could be turned around and written so much better.

“We’ll kick
you from one end of this newsroom to the other – but we’ll make a
reporter of you,” the legendary news editor Ken Donlan had warmly
promised young Tony when he hired him. The philosophy worked.

The
Moors murders, the Northern Ireland Troubles, the first test-tube baby,
the Yorkshire Ripper, the Black Panther – pick any of the Mail’s big
northern operations across three decades, and Tony was at the front of
them all.

He had been on the road himself. He understood the
pitfalls, the problems and the risks. And if he knew a reporter had
given their best, he was lavish with his praise.

It was a mark of
their respect and esteem that so many of his former colleagues turned
out for his funeral service. Indeed, one of them conducted it – the
Reverend Paul Maybury, night editor turned minister, was coaxed out of
retirement for the occasion.

Tony’s other great passion was the
countryside. He was a contributor to Shooting Times and Cheshire Life,
and wrote two books on clay pigeon shooting, with another in
preparation.

He moved to Anglesey three years ago, with his wife
Linda, to be nearer the open spaces and mountains they both loved. He
was within sight of them when he died at home.

Donations, please, to Cancer Research UK.

Dennis Ellam, Sunday Mirror

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