Sunderland Echo and Northern Echo journalist John Hobbs has died at the age of 75.

Hobbs worked as a sub-editor at the Sunderland Echo for many years before his retirement when he continued to write on a freelance basis for The Northern Echo after retiring.

This followed a career which included working for national newspapers such as the Daily Mirror, and in broadcasting at the BBC World Service and BBC Radio Newcastle.

Tributes have been paid to him after he died died at his home in Daddry Shield, in Weardale, County Durham at the weekend.

Former Sunderland Echo editor Rob Lawson, said: “He was a real larger-than-life character. He had a real mischievousness about him but was very good at what he did as well.

“He had been around a long time and there were a lot of people who were quite young at the Echo subs desk and he taught us all a lot, he had so much experience.”

John Gelson, another former sub-editor at the Sunderland Echo who now works in PR, said he had inspired many young journalists

“I learnt an immeasurable amount from him both about newspapers and broadcasting, which I went into. He was a great encouragement to me in making that career change. He was a tenacious sub-editor with a great eye for detail and a great writer as well.”

Northern Echo editor Peter Barron tweeted: “Sorry to hear that respected journalist John Hobbs has died in Weardale. Produced many tales for The Northern Echo.”

The Northern Echo published an update on Sunday saying it plans to run a full tribute to Mr Hobbs in due course and friends and colleagues extend their sympathies to his family.