Special recognition award in memory of Hartlepool Mail head of news Paul Watson.

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THE toughest person could not failed to have been moved by the award given in memory of the Hartlepool Mail’s head of news Paul Watson.

Paul passed away aged 50 after suffering a massive heart attack late last year, leaving behind long-term partner Pauline Scott.

Hartlepool Families First manager Paul Thompson pictured with Pauline Scott.

Hartlepool Families First manager Paul Thompson pictured with Pauline Scott.

In his career at the Hartlepool Mail, he’d organised a campaign to raise money for a Playbus for the Hartlepool Families First cause.

Hartlepool Mail editor Joy Yates said: “Paul was heavily involved in the Pride of Hartlepool awards and because of that, we have this special award.

“The words much loved and respected are often overused but in Paul’s case, they define what he was about.”

She said Paul was known “for the honesty and integrity with which he did everything.”

There could only be one winner of the award in his memory.

It was collected by Paul Thompson of Hartlepool Families First (a community project helping hundreds of town parents and their children).

It moved him to tears as he paid tribute to the man he’d come to know so well.

“He is very much missed,” said Mr Thompson. “Paul had a big place in our hearts and we are immensely grateful for everything that he did for us. He is truly missed.”

Sunderland-born Paul joined the Mail as news editor in 2008 having spent a decade working for the Press Association and for the Sunderland Echo before that.

After progressing to the position of Head of News, Paul was involved in some high-profile events in the town including the Mail’s Pride in Hartlepool awards, and the annual Best of Health Awards which celebrated the talent and commitment of professionals in the healthcare sector.

He was heavily involved in many campaigns with the Mail, helping to raise cash and awareness for numerous worthy causes.