Former Falkirk Herald journalist Robert Paul has died at the age of 66.
Born in Langholm in the Borders but raised in Cumbernauld Village, Robert completed his education at the local school before leaving in 1962 at the age of 15 to take a job at a paper-mill.
Within a matter of weeks however he opted for a career change and joined The Falkirk Herald’s sister newspaper the Cumbernauld News as a trainee reporter, later switching to the production side of the business at Johnston (Falkirk) Ltd’s headquarters in Falkirk High Street.
In 1989 Robert moved back into journalism with the Herald’s editorial team. As well as general reporting he edited the district news columns, covered Falkirk Presbytery, the sheriff court, football at Brockville, Firs Park and Ochilview and his first love - Falkirk Rugby Club - before taking early retirement in 2008.
As a reporter he quickly established himself in the community building an impressive list of contacts and sources and his friendly and helpful approach made him a popular and reliable colleague.
A founder member of Falkirk RFC, he happily turned out for the second and third XVs whenever he could.
He also starred as goalkeeper with the Herald’s 11-a-side Grangemouth Summer League team the Herald Angels and later played in the same position when the newspaper took part in a tournament at Hampden Park.
Robert liked competitions and quizzes and enjoyed taking part in the annual Top of the Town challenge where, despite his best efforts, he was regularly denied the opportunity to move much further than the first round by the inept contributions of his fellow scribes.
He also enjoyed the odd flutter and had the numbers of a few successful owners and trainers in his contact book which he would make good use of ahead of major meetings like the Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot and Aintree.
Robert, who married his wife Elizabeth in 1968, is survived by her and their four children, Sharon, Nichola, Kirsty and Christopher and five grandchildren, Kelly, Deanna, Taylor, Grace and Faith.
His funeral service is at Falkirk Crematorium at 1 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) to which all friends and acquaintances are warmly invited.