FORMER deputy news editor of The Bolton News Alan Calvert has died at the age of 72.

Mr Calvert, a ‘fierce’ supporter of local journalism, died today.

He started on the Bolton Evening News, as it was known, in May, 1966 at the age of 21 as a reporter, and retired in March, 2005.

Mr Calvert was originally from Blackpool but settled in Harwood to become a proud adopted Boltonian.

During his time on the paper, Mr Calvert was a pop music writer, police reporter, deputy news editor, business editor, deputy features editor, Looking Back editor, weekly columnist, greyhound correspondent and table tennis writer.

One of his early duties was taking the daily temperature at noon and 2pm on the roof of the Mealhouse Lane headquarters.

Big stories covered by Mr Calvert included the town hall fire in 1981 and reporting from the Kuwait desert in the aftermath of the first Gulf War. His interests included pub quizzes and table tennis.