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Eugene Duffy

Posted: December 7th, 2022

TRIBUTES have poured in for the Daily Mirror’s EUGENE DUFFY, who has died aged only 60. Those who knew him said he was the “backbone of the paper”.

By Andy Lines, chief reporter

Tributes have been paid to Daily Mirror legend Eugene Duffy who has died aged 60 after a short illness. Duffy was a key figure on the Daily Mirror for more than a quarter of a century. As an executive he helped launch the careers of many of the finest reporters on Fleet Street.

He started working at the Mirror in 1986 and went on to hold the posts of night news editor, news editor, and assistant editor. He was managing editor when he left the paper in 2014.

Editor Alison Phillips said: “Eugene was the backbone of the paper. He was a huge character who was a boss, mentor and friend to so many of us over the years. He will be very sadly missed.”

Former Mirror editor and now TV presenter Piers Morgan said: “Eugene was the best kind of journalist – tenacious, meticulous, ferociously hard-working, and determined to hold power to honest account. He was also a kind, generous, funny and loyal man. The Mirror family has lost a legend, far too young.”

Mark Ellis, a former Mirror journalist who was a close friend for 45 years, said: “Eugene was a superb journalist with an exceptional talent for getting the best out of reporters. Everyone wanted to work for him as he was such a decent bloke. He was a devoted family man and had a generosity of spirit and gift of friendship that made him a brilliant and loyal friend to so many.”

Former Sunday Mirror editor Paul Henderson said: “Eugene loved the Mirror for its unfailing and robust support of its readers through campaigns to improve lives, and investigative journalism holding power to account. He was a huge, straight-talking figure on the editorial floor. He never ducked important decisions, built an award-winning news reporting team and became a close friend to many journalists he encouraged to reach greater heights of professionalism. But Eugene’s greatest priority in life was his family.”

Daily Express editor Gary Jones, a former Mirror colleague, said: “Eugene was a colossus in the newspaper world whose passion for storytelling was immense. He truly wanted to make the world a better place.”

Duffy was born and educated in Stafford, he had three brothers and a sister, Carol Ann Duffy, a former Poet Laureate. He left school and started work at the Staffordshire Newsletter and always said his ambition was to “become editor of the Daily Mirror”.

He moved to the Worcester Evening News, and after a spell on a newspaper in the Gulf he returned to London and worked shifts at the Mirror in 1986. In recent years he edited The Tribune in the Bahamas. He was steeped in Labour politics. His father Frank, a fitter at English Electric, was a trade union activist and once stood, unsuccessfully, as a parliamentary candidate for Labour.

Eugene leaves his beloved wife Gill, four children Ben, Joe, Sam and Tom, and his grandson Raife.

Additional reporting: Jill Palmer

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