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Glasgow-born Alan was the paper’s chief sub editor in the late 1990s as it went through a major period of transition from old technology to digital.
He was among a team responsible for the newspaper’s production, which bore the brunt of major changes as the publication strived to compete in a new era of internet-led 24-hour news.
A key figure at the paper while at its original North Bridge base, Alan’s easy-going manner, kindness and sharp wit meant he made many friends in and out of the workplace.
He followed the Evening News as the paper moved to new offices at Barclay House in Holyrood. When Her Majesty the Queen arrived to officially open the building, Alan was among the senior journalists who talked her through the modern technology which was transforming newspaper production.
Born in Blairdardie in Glasgow, Alan was educated at St. Aloysius College in the city and went on to study English and Classical Literature at Edinburgh University.
He worked briefly as a civil servant in Edinburgh before moving to Preston in 1987 to study journalism and then work with the Newton and Golborne News.
He focused his career on the regional press and spent periods with newspapers in Yorkshire and Aberdeen before returning to Edinburgh in 1995.
At that time the Edinburgh Evening News produced several print editions each day, each edition being updated with the latest news events and printed at presses deep within the North Bridge building.
After the paper’s move to Holyrood, Alan returned to work in Yorkshire where he became assistant editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post. He later moving to Norway to join Upstream Oslo, which specialises in publications for the oil and gas sector.
He had recently relocated to the company’s London offices when he was diagnosed with cancer last year.
A highly talented journalist, Alan was known among friends and colleagues as a natural raconteur and loyal friend, easily recognisable thanks to his loud shirts, Chelsea boots, wild hair and raucous laugh.
His ability to find himself in comedic situations – a wrongful arrest in Athens, a close encounter with Kyle Minogue in an Edinburgh pub and many train and plane journeys which ended in chaos and sometimes the wrong destination – made for countless stories which he delighted in sharing with his many friends.
Former Edinburgh Evening News editor, John McLellan, said: “Alan was a key member of the Evening News team in the late 90s and very much a part of the paper’s success at a time of intense competition.
“His combination of professional skill, down-to-earth common sense and genuine love for his colleagues made him a natural leader in the production team, and he was a huge miss when he left.
“Like all his colleagues past and present I was extremely saddened by his untimely passing.”
Alan is survived by his daughters, Sally, born in 1994, and Rose, born in 2005, his sisters Moira and Anne and brother John.