Top journalist dies aged 47

Wyn Harness, back row far right, pictured in 1984 with colleagues from The Argus football team

Wyn Harness, back row far right, pictured in 1984 with colleagues from The Argus football team

First published in News by

A respected former journalist on The Argus who went on to become assistant editor of The Independent has died aged 47.

Wyn Harness worked at The Argus as a sub-editor between 1982 and 1986 before leaving to help found the national newspaper.

He died on Wednesday at the Martlets Hospice in Hove. He leaves a wife, Sue, also a former journalist on The Argus, and two children.

Chief photographer of The Argus, Simon Dack, who worked with Wyn and remained friends with him, paid tribute to his professionalism and dedication to his job as well as his warmth and sense of humour.

He said: "He was very pictureminded when laying out pages and always asked photographers for their input in the design.

"He was a really smashing bloke.

Although he came across as very quiet, he had a dry and very wicked sense of humour and always had a ready insult - usually for me. Everybody will miss him."

Wyn, who lived with his family in Hove, was a first-rate footballer as a youth and played in midfield for Lincolnshire County under-18s. The committed Liverpool fan also turned out for The Argus five-a-side team.

He was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, in 1960, the youngest of Ray and Freda Harness's four children.

He attended Boston Grammar School, from where he went straight to the Lincolnshire Standard in 1978 as a staff journalist before heading to Brighton to join The Argus.

He was a pivotal figure in the founding of The Independent where he was renowned for his calmness and clarity.

Despite the long commute from Hove, he never moved away and would always find time to make an afternoon phone call home to his daughter Isabel, 13, and son Euan, nine.

Wyn was forced to stop working when he had an inoperable brain tumour diagnosed last year.

Staff at the Martlets were amazed by the large number of friends who gathered at his bedside to be with him.

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