A legendary and well respected Scarborough Evening News reporter has died at the age of 61.
Tributes have flooded in for Chris Nixon, who started as a cub reporter at the newspaper when he was 17.
He passed away suddenly on Saturday afternoon.
He was respected by his peers and widely across the town, by councillors, police officers and everyone he spoke to regarding local news stories.
Even after Chris suffered a debilitating stroke in 2008, and was no longer able to work, he would still search out stories and call colleagues to pass on information and tip-offs.
Scarborough News editor Ed Asquith said: “Chris was a key member of the news team for a long time and was a tremendously engaging, witty, lively, informed and knowledgeable character.
“He belonged to a former era of the local newspaper world. He had the ink of the press in his veins, the best contacts-maker and newshound.
“He was a unique senior reporter, deeply skilled in traditional news-gathering. He liked to be called ‘Nugget of the News’ and he was.
“He was also the ever-young life and soul of the party at any gathering. One of the Scarborough characters we will remember with a smile.”
Friend Gilly Collinson said: “I first met Chris in 1995, when I took on the job as media communications lead for the Scarborough NHS trust.
“He was the ultimate local Scoop, and I lost track of the number of times that hospital managers would be trying to hush up some latest disaster and the first I would know about it would be when Chris asked me for an official quote.
“Since his stroke we’ve met most weeks for a drink and a chat, including on my birthday last Friday. I can’t explain how much I will miss him.”
Scarborough News journalist Steve Bambridge, a friend for more than 30 years, said: “He was inspiring and intelligent, and was known and respected by so many people. He’ll be truly missed by us all.”
Former colleague and friend Damian Holmes said: “He taught me so much about news and how everyone had a story, and he was constantly alert to anything that would make ‘a page lead for tomorrow’.
“He was without doubt the best news reporter I’ve ever worked with. He was also clever, witty, funny, and he had a huge heart. He will be missed.”
MP Robert Goodwill was among those shocked to hear of the news. He said: “When I first became an MP, Chris’s name was given to me as the reporter to contact.”
Scarborough South Bay Traders’ Association added: “We have just heard of the very sad news. Our thoughts are with his friends and family and we would like to pass on our deepest sympathies.”
Chris was the beloved son of Anne and loving father of Luke, who paid tribute to his dad saying he was “a highly intelligent and loving man”.
A funeral service and cremation will be held at Woodlands on Wednesday January 3 at 11.20am. Family flowers only, donations in memory of Chris, if desired for St Catherine’s Hospice, plate provided at the crematorium.