Polite, gentlemanly, but tenacious: Victor Gordon remembered by MLAs

DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley said Portadown had lost a 'legend'
DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley said Portadown had lost a 'legend'

Politicians who knew Victor Gordon have described him variously as “gentle”, “gracious” and “unassuming” – but also a “tenacious” operator when it came to chasing news.

It comes after the veteran Portadown Times reporter died late on Sunday night, aged 75, just weeks after being diagnosed with liver cancer.

As the news of his passing began to filter out into the community on Monday, tributes began to pour into the News Letter.

DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley said: “As a journalist he was the soul of Portadown. Today Portadown has lost a legend, and a genuine friend.”

The DUP also sent in statements from two of its other figures in the region, Upper Bann MP David Simpson (who dubbed him “a true gentleman” who “was always gracious in his dealings”) and Upper Bann MLA Carla Lockhart (who said he was “a gentle, amicable man who will be missed and remembered in the years to come”).

Danny Kennedy, former UUP MLA for Newry and Armagh, said he was “a highly respected, dedicated journalist who pursued stories with tenacity but absolute fairness”.

On the nationalist and republican side, the SDLP issued a statement from Upper Bann MLA and former party deputy leader Dolores Kelly.

She said: “There isn’t a politician or a journalist across the north who didn’t know and respect Victor Gordon. A fair, impartial and tenacious reporter... He was a real character and was well known for his mischievous sense of humour. They don’t make them like him anymore.”

John O’Dowd, Sinn Fein MLA for Upper Bann, said “he had his own unassuming way of getting the news”.

He added: “While he was always courteous and had a quick wit you knew you had to be on top of your game when being interviewed by Victor.”

Meanwhile, Alliance leader Naomi Long said: “I was privileged to know him personally and enjoyed chatting about politics, football, singing and my capacity to speak without taking a breath.

“His quick wit, sharp humour and graciousness will be much missed by all who know him.”