A former newspaper boss who started his career as an apprentice printer has died.
Mike West worked his way up to become commercial director of The Gazette and managing director of sister paper the Lancashire Evening Post.
Mr West, of Singleton Hall, Singleton, died in Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Tuesday, aged 74.
He was born in Blackpool and attended Thames Road School before joining Gazette Printers in Stanley Road as an apprentice compositor.
From there, he moved to the head offices of Blackpool Gazette & Herald in Victoria Street in 1962 where he worked as a paper planner in the advertising department.
He made rapid progress through various sections and eventually became display advertising manager.
In the early 1980s he was appointed commercial director and later moved to the Lancashire Evening Post (LEP), part of United Provincial Newspapers group, to which The Gazette also belonged, as deputy managing director.
He subsequently became managing director of the LEP before taking on the role of regional director for UPN newspapers in the North West.
Tony Shaw, who was managing director of The Gazette from 1984 to 1996, said: “I worked and socialised with Mike for over 50 years.
“We were the best of mates, through good times and hard times.
“I never had a brother, but had I been so lucky, it would have been Mike.”
Mr West was also a member of the Newspaper Society (the trade association of regional newspapers in the UK) and president of the North West Newspaper Society in 1994.
In his spare time, he was a keen sportsman having played county tennis in his early years and later moving into golf which was to become his abiding passion.
He was a member at Blackpool North Shore where he was captain and president, and he regularly played with the Newspaper Society Golf Society and won their annual competition on two occasions.
Mr West took early retirement from the Evening Post in 1996 and enjoyed a long and happy retirement with his wife Kathleen who died earlier this year including many holidays with his two daughters Anna and Sarah and their children in their homes in Boston, USA, and Sydney, Australia.
Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.