Sad death of a fine journalist and a lifelong Toon fanatic.
FORMER Chronicle reporter Paul Tully, viewed by friends as one of Newcastle United's greatest fans, has died aged 61.
Tributes have poured in for the popular journalist who also worked for years at the club he loved as editor of the matchday programme.
On a Facebook post, Kenneth Shepherd, son of the late chairman Freddy Shepherd, wrote: "Fantastic man, never forget him sitting with dad every Friday writing "the Chairman's" page in the programme".
And on the official Newcastle United twitter page, the club wrote: "We are saddened to have learned of the passing of the club's former programme editor, Paul Tully."
His best friend was Newcastle United's official historian Paul Joannou.
He said: "I've known Paul for 50 years. We grew up on the same street in Denton Burn. We were both lifelong Newcastle United fans, from wearing short pants."
He said Paul was not just a Toon fan, he loved the Northern League and in later years rekindled his love for non-league football, becoming a season ticket holder at Blyth Spartans.
He praised his friend as a skilled writer and a man of "integrity" and "honesty" who was popular with all who knew him.
Paul, who lived in Hexham, Northumberland, joined the Chronicle in the 1980s first in news and then sport before moving to Newcastle United in the 1990s, his dream job according to Mr Joannou.
He returned to Thomson House between 2010 and 2013 as the Journal's Hexham reporter.
BBC presenter Jeff Brown tweeted: "So sad to hear of the death of former Journal reporter Paul Tully - a true gent, football fanatic and one of @NUFC's greatest fans."
We understand Paul passed way last Friday. He is survived by his mother and an older brother, Graham.