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Farewell to 'The Captain'... Tele deputy sports editor John Taylor passes away

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Sad passing: the late John Taylor

Sad passing: the late John Taylor

Sad passing: the late John Taylor

The death has occurred of former Belfast Telegraph journalist John Taylor who for several years was this newspaper's deputy sports editor.

A native of Belfast, he began his career as a technician in the Telegraph's newsroom before joining the editorial department.

It was there that his many inherent qualities were to surface to such an extent that he created a considerable niche for himself.

In his role as Deputy Sports Editor, he underlined the determination, single-mindedness and dedication that were to win him many admirers.

His easy-going demeanour and wry humour were to make an impact on all with whom he came into contact and it was these assets which were to serve him well in the fast-paced, time sensitive bustling environment of a daily newspaper.

The efficient manner in which he made the not insignificant transition from newsroom operative to deputy sports editor hinted at his drive, commitment and admirable work ethic.

With five editions coming off the printing presses every day, John's role at the nerve centre of sports coverage was crucial yet he invariably fulfilled his many-sided duties with an intrinsic professionalism and obvious relish.

In the concluding stages of an era which preceded the digital upsurge, John showed he could capably adapt and indeed prove innovative.

He had a particular interest in aviation and travel and indeed was something of an authority on military aeroplanes.

He enjoyed nothing better than holidaying on the continent with his family and indeed was something of an authority on global geography.

He was in essence, though, a devoted family man and while some of us dedicated our lunch hour to adding to our waistlines in the convivial atmosphere of the then flourishing Frames, John instead prevailed of the break from his demanding duties to visit his mother.

Quiet and reserved, he was an affable, sincere colleague whose modesty and honesty won him many admirers.

Journalism, like most professions, has undergone sweeping changes in recent years but the legacy of civility, courtesy and friendship that John left will hopefully endure long into the future.

Former Belfast Telegraph sports editor John Laverty said: "We called him 'The Captain' and it was a deeply affectionate title.

"No one could run the ship like John. He was always where he should be, 100% reliable, wonderfully resourceful. He had such a dry sense of humour too, but woe betide any young hack who took liberties with The Captain."

Belfast Telegraph