Tributes have been paid to a district reporter who served a regional daily for more than 40 years and edited Kenya’s Daily Nation following his death aged 72.
Matt Casey worked as a district reporter for the Newcastle Chronicle based primarily in Washington, then Durham and Gateshead.
During his 40 years of service, he wrote thousands of stories, covering hard news and court, to off-beat, human interest pieces.
Matt, from Washington, decided at the age of 14 that he wanted to become a journalist after originally harbouring aspirations of becoming an English teacher. However, after winning a competition set up by the Daily Mirror while still at school, he was taken to London and a trip around the Daily Mirror offices and the House of Commons which led him to follow his eventual career path.
Joining the Chronicle’s circulation department at the age of 17, he started working as a trainee reporter six months later, before becoming a sub-editor at the age of 26.
In 1977 he headed out to Kenya in 1977 where he worked on the Daily Nation sub-editing and advising on print production, before returning to the UK the following year and rejoined the Chronicle team as a reporter.
At the age of 62, Matt left the newspaper and spent six months in the Durham Constabulary Press Office before becaming a freelance court reporter.
Matt died in Sunderland Royal Infirmary on Tuesday, July 16. He had suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and battled with pneumonia. He leaves behind his wife Mildred, daughter Louise, 47, son Anthony, 46, and grandchildren Finley and Isla, both eight, Euan, six, and 12 year-old Archie.