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Tributes paid to former Rutland Times editor Andy Plaice who has died at the age of 54

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Tributes have been paid to a former editor of the Rutland Times, who has died following a battle with a brain tumour.

Family and friends have paid tribute to “wonderful” Andrew Plaice, known as Andy, who died on Monday last week at the age of 54.

He leaves wife Maria, children James, Katie, Jack and Albie, and father Russell.

Former Rutland Times editor Andy Plaice has died at the age of 54
Former Rutland Times editor Andy Plaice has died at the age of 54

Russell, a former financial advisor, said: “What can a father say of his only child? He was just a wonderful, wonderful son and a great person to be with, all the time.

“Everybody loved Andy. He wasn’t a loud person; he would just make quiet little comments with a quirk of a smile at times.”

Andy, who lived in Seaton, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in March 2019.

Russell said: “It’s tragic. He didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, took exercise every day, ate his five-a-day, ate fish and little meat, and yet he gets this.

“It was a blessing in the end that he went, and he went very peacefully.”

Andy always had a passion for drama and studied the subject at university in Cheshire.

At the age of 21 he was flown to Sydney when a play he had written two years earlier was chosen to represent the UK in an international drama competition.

The play, Under Control, is still regularly performed in Australia.

Andy’s love of the arts was what sparked his interest in journalism and in 1988 he became a trainee reporter at the Grantham Journal, rising to the position of deputy editor.

He left to edit the Melton Times from 1992 to 2005 and then spent a year as managing editor of the Rutland Times.

It was there that he took on Andrea Scholes, who still works as a reporter at the Rutland Times, and Megan Allen, who now runs her own PR business.

Andrea said: “Andy gave me my first job as a trainee reporter at the Rutland Times in 2005.

“As a boss Andy was everything you could wish for. He was kind, knowledgeable and fun to work with. He always had time for everyone and led a great time.

“It was a sad day when Andy left to become a lecturer, but he was clearly made for the job and loved the opportunity to be reunited with his old colleagues to inspire a new generation of journalists.

“He made the world a brighter place and will be missed by everyone who had the honour of knowing him.”

Megan recalled turning down a place on a post-graduate journalism course at De Montfort University in Leicester because Andy offered her a job as a junior reporter, only to announce weeks later that he himself was going to be a university lecturer.

She said: “In those first few months I learned as much as I did in three years and never regretted the path that I chose.

“My career would not be what it is today without Andy’s belief in and support for me.”

In 2006, Andy left the Rutland Times to become a journalism lecturer at De Montfort University in Leicester.

He wrote the core practical modules for second and third year students and developed a new module for arts and entertainment journalism.

As a feature writer and reviewer, he wrote for a wide range of publications, magazines and websites including the Sunday Express, The Stage, the Daily Express, the British Theatre Guide, the British Comedy Guide and The Voice.

Andy was also a published author. His successful book ‘Arts Reviewing: A Practical Guide’ offers advice on the subject, along with a debate on challenges facing the craft such as the internet.

Tor Clark, associate professor in journalism at the University of Leicester, said: “Andy was both a fantastic journalist and also an amazing teacher.

“He was just a lovely man, a joy to spend time with, s sincere friend, full of fun and with a fantastic sense of humour. But most of all he was a much-loved husband, father and son.”

Andy died at the Cransley Hospice in Kettering on February 18 with his family at his side.

He leaves his wife Maria and children James, 21, Katie, 19, Jack, 11, and Albie, six.

Andy’s funeral will take place on Tuesday, March 3 at 11.30am at All Hallows Church, Seaton, followed by cremation at Peterborough Crematorium at 1pm.

The wake will be held at the George and Dragon pub in Seaton from 2pm.

The family has requested no flowers, but any donations can be made to Cransley and Cynthia Spencer Hospices, which cared for Andy in his final weeks.

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