TRIBUTES have been paid to an award-winning journalist who was found dead at his home.
Craig Finlay, a reporter with the Evening News’ sister paper the Midlothian Advertiser, was 39 years old. He died from natural causes at his house in Gorebridge on Sunday, July 26.
A familiar face in Midlothian, having worked with the Advertiser for four years, Craig covered Dalkeith, Bonnyrigg, Rosewell and Danderhall.
He was part of the newspaper’s team which won the Johnston Press Local Newspaper of the Year award for Scotland in 2013.
His mum Helen Craig, 68, and step-dad Gordon Craig, 63, live in Peebles.
Mrs Craig said: “I could not have asked for a better son than Craig. He was so kind and Gordon and I are truly proud of the man he became.
“We can’t believe he is gone at such a young age. It was only once we lost Craig that we realised how popular he was and how many lives he touched.”
A talented guitarist, Craig was a keen martial artist and runner. The life-long Celtic supporter was a dedicated member of Dalkeith’s Baptist Church and played football with a church team every week.
A former painter and decorator, Craig began his career in journalism at the Peeblesshire News. He later moved on to the East Lothian News and latterly the Midlothian Advertiser. His work often appeared in the Evening News.
His partner Dawn Morrison, 31, also a journalist, said: “Craig was one of a kind. He was incredibly compassionate and had a great love of animals. He had a brilliant and often self-deprecating sense of humour and an uncanny ability to speak to people he had just met with a warmth and openness which would instantly make them feel comfortable.
“I’m devastated at having lost him. He will forever be in my heart.”
Friend Graham Knox, 39, who had known Craig since school, said: “Craig was my best friend, the best man at my wedding and one of the best men I’ve ever known. He was a man of integrity.
“My life has changed forever now and I will miss him more than I can express. We either called each other or e-mailed just about every day. I miss that already.
“I am so grateful that we had what I now know was our last hurrah on the guitars and even recorded a few tracks.”