Tributes paid to long-standing Colchester journalist Paul Davidson

Paul Davidson, national journalist from Colchester.

Paul Davidson, national journalist from Colchester. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a national newspaper journalist from Colchester who died earlier this month.

Paul Davidson, 65, suffered a suspected heart attack at Shenfield train station while returning home after finishing a shift at The Sun.

Born on June 10 1949 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, the son of Jim and Edna, Paul grew up in nearby Ancaster and went to the village’s primary school before progressing to Carre’s Grammar School.

Leaving school in 1965, Paul began work as a trainee reporter on the Grantham Journal and trained at Clarendon College, Nottingham, and launched a career spanning almost 50 years in the media industry.

Paul married his wife Shirley in 1969 and the family moved to Colchester in the early 1970s when he took up a job with the BT press office.

He worked on a number of local and national titles as both a reporter and sub-editor, including the News of the World and The Sun, as well as the Colchester Evening Gazette where he rose to news editor. Paul also had a reputation as a mentor for new journalists.

Paul’s work sometimes put him in the line of danger, including when he was slashed across with a knife by a gang of youths as he tried to warn a colleague a fire had been started underneath his car during the Brixton Riots in 1985 while reporting for the Sunday people.

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Despite nearly losing his sight Paul proudly bore the scar from the incident.

Outside of work Paul was a former chairman of the North Countrymen’s Club in Colchester, Colchester Golf Club, and a former vice-president of Colchester and East Essex Cricket Club.

He played football and cricket in his younger years, then golf, and was a keen Ipswich Town fan.

Paul’s widow Shirley, said: “Paul was a much-loved husband, father and grandfather who will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.

“He had a passion for journalism, and newspapers in particular, and was a loyal, kind and generous friend to many.

“He loved his family and was proud of all they achieved, and we are proud of him and will miss him dearly.”

Stig Abell, The Sun’s managing editor, added: “Paul was a brilliant journalist and a lovely man, full of ideas and fun.

“Life was never dull with him in the newsroom.”

Paul leaves his widow, four children – Aynsley, Lindsay, Laura and Tom – and four grandchildren.

His funeral service will take place on Wednesday March 4 at 1.15pm at Colchester Crematorium.

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