Hugh Dawson, a true gentleman

          LAST PICTURE: Hugh last December after watching Newcastle beat West Ham


Hugh Dawson and I were pals on the Newcastle Journal but lost touch when he went to the Evening Echo at Hemel.

Shortly after joining the Express, I bumped into him on the Tube. We were both heading for a West Ham v Newcastle match and remained mates ever since. 

He and Sandra used to live at Potters Bar and Marie and I bought our first house there after visiting them for dinner.

Hugh loved football, especially Newcastle, and we were part of a worldwide email group where we regularly shared the woes of being a Toon supporter. 

But Hugh was always an optimist, finding all the positives, even in defeat.

My last pic of him was when we watched Newcastle at West Ham — again — on December 23. Hugh couldn't speak by then and was tapping out his remarks on his iPhone. Newcastle won 3-2 and the result turned their season round. As you can see from the picture, Hugh was over the moon.

Not that he would have used such a cliché. He was a superb practitioner of his craft, as chief sub and then production editor at the Mail.

His website shows he knew newspapers inside out. He appreciated the old hot metal days with all its faults but became an expert on the new technology as the Mail acknowledged  when they sent him to New York to study new methods and products and guide them on which way to go.

But over and above all this, Hugh Dawson was a true gentleman and the world will be poorer without him.

CHRIS CHALKE adds: I knew Hugh well because he was chief sub on the Daily Mail through the four years I was there — and he was a thoroughly decent bloke to work with. 

He was always held in high regard across the editorial floor, never let the unpleasantness and ill-temper of the older backbench get to him and acted as a bulwark to shield the news subs from the grumpy old men behind him.

Inset above: Daily Mail, 28th June, 2018

© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre