Tributes are paid to ‘Mr Gazette’

Mike Delaney
Mike Delaney
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The funeral takes place on Monday of journalist Mike Delaney - the Glenrothes Gazette’s longest serving staff member.

A former chief reporter and deputy editor of the Gazette, Mike – who passed away suddenly on Tuesday, November 12, aged 52 – was also the first head of news for Central Fife with the restructured Fife Free Press Group.

He served a total of 27 years over two spells at the Johnston Press-owned newspaper, before leaving the company just under three months ago.

He first joined the editorial team in 1985 where he met his future wife Sandra, a fellow Gazette reporter. He left, two years later, to work for United News Services, covering many Edinburgh High Court

Mike returned to the Gazette in January, 1989 where he remained, apart from a six- month secondment to the East Fife Mail, until 2013.

Born on February 6, 1961, Mike was the youngest of five children (he had three sisters and a brother) and was raised in Niddrie,Edinburgh.

On leaving school, he enrolled on a journalism course at Napier College and served a brief stint with the Edinburgh University Press before heading to Fife, taking up the position as junior reporter for the Gazette.

Even from his earliest years in the profession Mike was an active member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) where he worked tirelessly to defend, preserve and uphold the rights and working practices of journalists throughout Scotland.

He was the NUJ’s Fife Father of Chapel (FOC) for over 20 years and, in a similar role, FOC for Johnston Press Scotland for 15 years.

Away from work, Mike was a lifelong, and self proclaimed “long suffering” Hibernian supporter who regularly attended matches at Easter Road from as early as he could remember.

He was also an ardent follower of football in general, making occasional trips to watch his second team – Manchester United – and spent many years coaching a number of youth sides in Edinburgh.

A lover of music, Mike spent his youth playing in a number of Edinburgh bands, even releasing a single with his group, The Prescription, in 1980.

In later life he continued to enjoy playing guitar and was regularly found sitting in with fellow musicians in pubs across the capital, most notably The Waterloo and The Royal Oak.

As a brilliant and much respected journalist serving the new town for three decades he reported events with unfaltering integrity, compassion, humility, dedication and above all, honesty.

Often championing Glenrothes when others had given up, his death is not only of great sadness and loss to his wife Sandra and two sons, Jamie (18) and Ruaridh (15), his family, friends and former colleagues – it comes as a huge loss to the town of Glenrothes.

The funeral takes place at St Patrick’s Church, Cowgate, Edinburgh at 1.30 p.m. on Monday, November 25, and thereafter at Seafield Crematorium at 3.00 p.m.

The family have requested those attending to wear something green.