Tributes paid to ‘legendary’ former Chronicle & Echo news editor who has died, aged 64

Terry Morris worked at the Chronicle & Echo from 1974 to 2006
Terry Morris worked at the Chronicle & Echo from 1974 to 2006

Tributes have been paid to a former Northampton Chronicle & Echo news editor and Saints reporter who has died, aged 64.

Terry Morris, worked at the Chron from 1974 to 2006, and helped train dozens of reporters while also finding time to write regular reports on the Northampton Saints.

Mr Morris’s son James said his father had died in Northampton General Hospital on Wednesday after a short illness.

He said: “He loved travelling all over the country reporting on the Northampton Saints. He went to all the away games.

“He will be sorely missed by all his friends and family including his wife Trudy, sons James and Samuel, daughter Emmeline and his nine grandchildren.”

Mr Morris said the arrangements for his father’s funeral would be announced in the next few days.

Terry Morris wrote a feature on his attempt to learn to drive at the same time as his daughter Emmeline

Terry Morris wrote a feature on his attempt to learn to drive at the same time as his daughter Emmeline

Chron sports editor Jeremy Casey said Mr Morris was an “old school journalist” who was admired and respected by his colleagues.

He said: “Terry was from the old school of journalism, he liked a pint and a smoke, and he was somebody I admired and respected greatly.

“When I started at the Chron in the early 1990s, I only knew Terry by reputation, that he didn’t suffer fools gladly and was no-nonsense. I was a bit wary of meeting him to be honest.

“What I had been told was true, but underneath the tough exterior, Terry was a big softie really with a big heart, and always good company.

“He covered the Saints for the Chron for many, many years, but it was never a chore for Tel, who embraced the sport’s switch from an amateur game to a professional one with genuine enthusiasm, and relished the challenge.

“Players and coaches may not always have agreed with what Terry may have written about them at times, but they always respected him. And that is important.

“Terry was a real character and an excellent writer. It was a pleasure to have known, and worked with him.”

Chron deputy editor (communities) Graham Tebbutt, who worked Terry for 15 years, said he was a local newspaper “legend”.

He said: “When I started reporting on the Saints for the rival Northants Post newspaper in the mid-1980s, he was such a great help to me.

“I was in awe of his knowledge and contacts within Franklin’s Gardens, and rugby in general, and yet he was always generous in his help to me.

“When I joined the Chron in 1991 and had a chance to work alongside him in the newsroom, I soon realised his talents extended beyond sport, and he was equally experienced dealing with police and council matters too.

“There are many journalists around today who have Terry to thank for the grounding, training and advice he gave them... me included.”

Peter Clarke, who worked with Mr Morris for almost his whole career at the Chron, said he was a very supportive colleague.

He said: “He was a journalist of the old school. He could turn his hand to everything, whether that be writing a match report on the Saints or a murder investigation story.”

Geoff Allen, the former Saints team secretary, said he always had a great working relationship with Mr Morris.

He said: “He always understood my role perfectly. If there were any changes made to the team he would report them but he would never quote me directly.

“He understood that if a player that was picked got injured and I had to call up someone who didn’t make the team, I would be saying to them I wanted them all along. So that really helped me.”

Steve Scoles, who worked as a news editor with Terry Morris at the Chronicle & Echo, said: “We were all a bit frightened of Terry because he called it as he saw it without fear or favour. He could be stubborn but he would speak up for reporters in news conferences. As News Editor I tended to start the day and Terry would finish it, almost completely unlike a charming prince rescuing a damsel in distress. He was very proud of his son and the Saints recent successes would have made him happier than anything that ever happened at work. A lot of people will be raising a glass to him including me. “