A FORMER news editor at The Bolton News, Melvyn Horrocks, has died after a long illness.

Mr Horrocks, who was 71 and lived in Heywood, was a much-respected journalist who worked at the head office of the paper, then the Bolton Evening News, from 1966 to 2000.

For much of that time he was news editor – a key role at the centre of the news gathering operation.

Earlier in his career he had a spell working as a reporter at the Bury office of the BEN.

He leaves his wife Janet and daughters Alison and Jillian.

Ian Savage, current editor of the newspaper, worked alongside Mel, as he was known, for more than a decade.

He said: “Mel was an excellent journalist and great human being. I had the privilege of working with him as a reporter and then alongside him on the news desk, and his experience and knowledge was invaluable.

“I owe him a great deal and I would not have been editor of my home town newspaper without the support I received from him over the years.

“I know that he mentored many journalists who went on to bigger and better things. He will be sadly missed.”