Paul Simoniti

Paul Simoniti, assistant editor of the Coventry Evening Telegraph, has died, aged 43.

Simoniti, who lived in Nuneaton with wife Kim, and sons James and Ben, had been battling against cancer.

He was a popular writer for the Telegraph with his weekly "Personally…" column where he highlighted the quirky side of suburbia and took to task some of the institutions that chipped away at traditional family life.

Editor Alan Kirby said: "Paul was first and foremost a gentleman and his courtesy and understanding shone through in everything he did. Those old- fashioned virtues alone made him a superb ambassador for this paper and a colleague who was both respected and loved by all who knew him.

"But he was also a highly valued journalist whose basic humanity and sensitivity towards others could always be relied upon for a fair and balanced perspective in the sometimes hyped-up atmosphere of a busy newsroom.

"He was, simply, a wonderful man and we shall miss him dreadfully."

Simoniti started his career on the Nuneaton Evening Tribune as a reporter and wrote the pop music pages. He was well known in town footballing circles, having played for the Nuneaton Catholic Boys and the Ex-Servicemen’s Club.

He went to work on the Sunday Mercury and Evening Mail in Birmingham before moving to the Evening Telegraph in 1987 as chief features sub-editor. He later became features editor and was then promoted to assistant editor. In 1995, he helped lead a campaign to win vital treatment for his mother, Jean, and others who were suffering from ovarian cancer.

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