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Former Isle of Man Courier editor of 30 years Lionel Cowin dies aged 73

Former Isle of Man Courier editor Lionel Cowin, who spent more than 30 years in charge of the weekly title, has died aged 73.

Cowin was also a director of Isle of Man Newspapers, which publishes the Courier, Isle of Man Examiner and Manx Independent titles.

Paying tribute to the newsman, Courier sports editor John Watterson told Press Gazette he was a “real typical old newshound”.

Cowin first joined the Examiner as a junior reporter in the 1960s after a brief spell working for the Lancashire Police.

In 1973 he was made editor of the Ramsey Courier, later renamed the Isle of Man Courier, following a spell at the Hertfordshire Mercury.

Cowin took over the editorship of the Examiner when it was bought by Halifax Courier in 1987 and the Independent when it too was bought out in 1993.

He edited all three titles for 12 years until his retirement in 2005 following a 43-year career in journalism.

Watterson, who worked with Lionel for just over 12 years, said he was “very thorough and quite stern”.

“He was fair and had very high standards,” he added. “He was a real typical old newshound, he would search for good stories and always had a ear to the ground.

“He followed the new technology right the way through and kept an avid interest in everything. Lionel was very amusing, he had a lot of stories to tell from his time in sport, and in particularly newspapers.

“He worked through a significant era of newspapers, from the hot metal days to the modern era – he enjoyed a challenge in both.”

Cowin, an avid cycling fan, died on Sunday morning following an infection. He had previously been diagnosed with leukaemia.

Picture: Isle of Man Examiner

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