A FORMER councillor who served as mayor of Mold three times died after collapsing at a social club in the town.
Gareth Evans, a highly respected councillor and former Leader reporter, was taken ill on Friday night.
Pensioner Mr Evans complained of feeling unwell shortly after entering the Bryn Griffith Social Club in High Street, where he was a popular and long standing member.
Club steward John Lewis said: “Gareth said that he wasn’t feeling well. He sat down and then collapsed. One of our members gave him first aid and the ambulance service was here quickly but there was nothing that anybody could do.
“Everyone is very upset, Gareth was so popular. He has served the club in a variety of positions and was the type of man who would always try to help others if he possibly could.”
Long time colleague and former editor of the Evening Leader Reg Herbert paid tribute to Mr Evans, saying: “Gareth had a tremendous sense of humour and was a very likable man.
“He was from Coedpoeth originally. Gareth was an excellent journalist and particularly good at court reporting. It is sad news to hear of his death, he will be greatly missed.”
Editor of the Leader Barrie Jones said: "Gareth was an excellent journalist of the old school who worked for The Leader for many years. He knew just what would interest our readers and there was no one better at developing a great story even when information was hard to come by using his huge range of contacts and extensive local knowledge."
Former deputy news editor of the Evening Leader Les Chamberlain said: “Gareth was a joy to work with. He always had everyone’s interests at heart when writing a story and was an excellent court reporter.”
Former Evening Leader photographer Les Evans said: “As a boy Gareth went to Penygelli Junior School in Coedpoeth and then Grove Park Grammar School.
“I worked with him for many years. As well as being a nice man he was tremendously good at his job.”
For a number of years Mr Evans served as a town councillor in Mold and had the honour of being mayor on three occasions. During his career Mr Evans had also worked for the Reuters news agency.
Town and county councillor Chris Bithell said: “Gareth was well known throughout the community. He was very convivial and had a great sense of humour.”