Tributes have been paid to Midlothian Advertiser journalist Craig Finlay who has died at the age of 39.
Craig died of natural causes on Sunday, July 26, at his home in Gorebridge. He was a familiar face in Midlothian, having worked with the Advertiser for four years, covering Dalkeith, Bonnyrigg, Rosewell and Danderhall.
Craig was part of the team which saw the Advertiser win the Johnston Press Local Newspaper of the Year award in 2013 for Scotland.
He is survived by his mum Helen Craig (68), and step-dad Gordon Craig (63), who live in Peebles.
Mrs Craig said: “I could not have asked for a better son than Craig. He was so kind and Gordon and I are truly proud of the man he became.
“We can’t believe he is gone at such a young age. It was only once we had lost Craig that we realised just how popular he was and how many people’s lives he had touched.”
A talented guitarist, Mr Finlay was a keen martial artist and runner. The life-long Celtic supporter was a dedicated member of Dalkeith’s Baptist Church and played football with a team from the church every week.
A former painter and decorator, Craig began his career in journalism at the Peeblesshire News. He later moved on to the East Lothian News and latterly the Midlothian Advertiser.
His partner Dawn Morrison (31), also a journalist, said: “Craig was one of a kind.
“He was incredibly compassionate and had a great love of animals. He had a brilliant and often self-deprecating sense of humour and an uncanny ability to speak to people he had just met with a warmth and openness which would instantly make them feel comfortable.
“I’m devastated at having lost him. He will forever be in my heart.”
Graham Knox (39), who had known Craig since school, said: “Craig was my best friend, the best man at my wedding and one of the best men I’ve ever known. He was a man of integrity.
“My life has changed for ever now and I will miss him more than I can express. We either called each other or e-mailed just about every day. I miss that already.
“I am so grateful that we had a chance to have what I now know was our last hurrah on the guitars and even recorded a few tracks.”