A former stalwart of the Evening Times – described by colleagues as one of the great 'old school' journalists – has died, aged 64.
John Kerr began his journalism career, aged 17, at the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser. Following a spell at the Sunday Mail and then the Daily Record newspapers, he joined the Evening Times, where he specialised in crime reporting.
Says his colleague of almost 20 years at the Evening Times, Allan Caldwell, a former investigative reporter at the paper: “He was known as the man of many words but little notes. He had a great ability to retain information in his mind rather than his notebook.
“John was one of the old school.
“His contacts and humour opened many doors for him.
“Crime was a specialist area for John and he was accepted equally in the company of people on both sides of the law.”
Kerr retired from the Evening Times a decade ago, on the grounds of ill health.
Adds Caldwell, who now writes freelance and does occasional strategic PR for clients: “His sometimes colourful style of writing often led him into controversy with photographers covering stories with him.
“He would make mention of people and scenes that left photogrpahers running around trying to capture the images to match.”
He continued: “His devotion to the job earned him much admiration. At the Evening Times he was one of the first in the office in the early hours of the morning, trenchcoat on and ready to tackle the breaking story of the day.
“The world of journalism has lost one of its finest scribes.”
John is survived by his close family including his mother, Margaret, and wife, Rena.