THE funeral of former St Helens Star editor Alan Whalley will be held tomorrow morning (Tuesday, October 22).

Alan passed away aged 86 on Thursday, October 3 after a battle with pneumonia.

He passed away on Thursday last week after a battle with pneumonia, leading to a flurry of tributes from former colleagues and loved ones.

Alan's funeral will be held on Tuesday, October 22 at 11.30 am at St David's Church, Carr Mill followed by committal at St Helens Crematorium at l pm.

Any donations received in Alan's memory will be given to The Moss Bank Mission a place close to Alan's heart.

Alan’s wonderful prose and mastery of storytelling, evident in the multi-award winning Whalley’s World column, enriched the pages of the Star for 36 years, until his retirement in 2009.

He edited the Star from the mid-70s until 1992 and his giant, magnetic personality helped drive and nurture a team to create a newspaper that established itself as part of St Helens culture.

Away from the typewriter and notepads where he made his name, he was a warm, loving compassionate husband, dad, granddad and friend.

When he passed away last week he was surrounded by wife Sandra, daughter Robyn and son Lincoln.

In tribute, Robyn, said: “He was a magnetic personality, someone who who would hold court in a room.

“He was a real people’s person, with charisma – people were drawn to him.

“He was also an incredibly loving and giving dad and granddad– with a fantastic sense of humour.”

St Helens Star:

Alan with his youngest grandchild, Theodore Thomas Whalley, who was born earlier this year

Sandra described Alan as a “one-off, the like of which we won’t see again”.

She said: “In our younger days, it didn’t seem as though we could go anywhere without someone knowing him. He was so well loved about town.

“He was a wonderful, romantic man, with a sharp mind. He loved to be out meeting and talking to people.

“He was also very brave. He’d had his health problems, including an horrific fall in which he injured his face a decade ago. But he showed such courage and character to get on with life.”

Alan’s career spanned 60 years after he was taken on as a 15-year-old cub reporter back in 1948 with the former St Helens Newspaper and Advertiser. He went on to work at the Warrington Guardian, operating as a sportswriter and district man at Newton-le- Willows, before joining the Post and Chronicle in Wigan.

He moved on to the St Helens Reporter as assistant editor, before becoming a sub-editor with the Daily Telegraph in Manchester.

It was in the mid 70s, shortly after the Star’s birth, that he was attracted by the newspaper’s founder Malcolm Smith, launching his Whalley’s World column that he labelled the “page of the people” and later taking the helm.