Ex-Guardian reporter Mike dies

Mike Beardall helped launched the Mail on Sunday, and started training at the Banbury Guardian in the 1960s. NNL-141217-153000001
Mike Beardall helped launched the Mail on Sunday, and started training at the Banbury Guardian in the 1960s. NNL-141217-153000001

A journalist who started his career at the Banbury Guardian before going on to help launch the Mail on Sunday, has died.

Born in Sulgrave, Mike Beardall began training at the paper in the 1960s. He lost his battle with cancer on Sunday at his home in Henfield, Sussex. He was 62.

After the Banbury Guardian he joined the Daily Mail group as a sub-editor on Weekend magazine, later becoming chief sub-editor. In 1982 he worked on the launch of the Mail on Sunday and also undertook sub-editing on the Sunday Express, Daily Express and the Daily Star.

He was to become editor of the Middlesex Chronicle and deputy group editor of Surrey and West London Newspapers Ltd in 1987 and was editor of the West Sussex Gazette in 1990. Mr Beardall launched Oakfield Media in 1995 and as part of his publishing portfolio he became editor of The Groundsman, the official magazine of the Institute of Groundsmanship for 11 years.

In recent years, he occupied his time by producing newsletters and public relations material for a number of companies, including P&0, The Fowler Group, DJ Turfcare and Speedcut Contractors.

Pete Britton, who worked with Mr Beardall at the Groundsman, said: “Mike was a gentle man in every sense of the word, He handled adversity in both his business and private life with dignity and always made himself available to industry colleagues, with the minimum of fuss, when support and assistance was required.

“He was the consummate professional and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

Mr Beardall was married to Sheila Gunn for 14 years and they had two children, Ben and Kate, and two young grandchildren.

His daughter Kate said: “He was a lovely man, always friendly and always happy. He loved living in Henfield and was the chairman of many local associations. He was a very keen gardener and photographer on wildlife and a very loving grandfather.”

The funeral will be at Warkworth Church on Tuesday, December 23 at 1pm with a wake at the Three Conies pub in Thorpe Mandeville at 2.30pm.