TRIBUTES have been paid to former Gazette sports editor Gary Baker, who has died aged 59. 

He passed away at Southmead Hospital after a walking accident near his home in Trowbridge on January 5. 

Gary, from Newport, was a devoted father to his daughter Sally and a fantastic son to his mum.

He was Gazette sports editor from 2014 to 2018 and was most recently working as a regional editor for Nub News in Trowbridge. He was hugely respected in the rugby world for his talent and dedication as a journalist.

Gazette editor Michael Purton said: “Gary was a popular member of the team during his time with the Gazette. There was nothing he didn’t know about rugby and he brought the same level of enthusiasm he had for reporting on his beloved Welsh rugby team to covering sports clubs across Dursley, Cam, Wotton, Thornbury, Yate, Chipping Sodbury and the wider area.

“He was a pleasure to work with and a fantastic professional – you always knew Gary would crack on with the job and deliver great stories and pages, with no fuss.

“Gary was incredibly devoted to his daughter and mum and often spoke of how much he enjoyed spending time with them, and we can only imagine how devastated they must be.

“Gary was an all-round top bloke and a brilliant journalist, and will be missed by so many people.”

Gary worked as a journalist and PR consultant for over a quarter of a century and founded his own media company, Wales and West Media Ltd, in 2007.

He was passionate about sports journalism, declaring: “You have to live your dreams in your life, so covering sports event every weekend, particularly rugby union and cycling, is just that - living the dream.”

He was also immensely proud to have worked at major championships like the Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

Gary's funeral took place yesterday, Wednesday.

He is survived by his daughter Sally, brother John, niece Lucie, and mother, Marie.