The business community has reacted with shock and sadness, following the sudden death of Martin Regan.

The 54-year-old former journalist, was born in South Manchester and remained proud of his Wythenshawe roots. He studied journalism in Sheffield, before freelancing for a number of newspapers, including the Financial Times.

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‘Who else could shift for the Sport & write features for FT?’ Martin Regan tribute

This led him to set up Excel Publishing, which is where he made his name. At its peak, it employed more than 100 staff and was the region’s largest independently owned publishing company.

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Excel Publishing co-founder Pat Rafter takes control of the company

Between 1991 and 2013, he helped grow the firm, through EN magazine, British Cycling and becoming the largest contract publisher of Chamber of Commerce magazines in the country.

In 2013, he sold his Excel stake to co-founder, Pat Rafter and turned to regional publishing, setting up Cheshire Today and Macclesfield Today. He was also a  chief executive of the English Chess Federation.

The freedom also enabled him to turn his attention to art, setting up The Gateway Gallery in Hale, to promote British artists. Co-owner, Susan Eyres said:

“Our thoughts are with Shirley and his family. Martin was a unique character with a profound love of art and will be very much missed.”

Former colleague and Insider editor, Michael Taylor has penned his own tribute here.

And a tribute from Robert Waterhouse is here.