Tributes to ‘unflappable’ media lawyer Eddie Young

Eddie Young and his wife Diana  (Murray Sanders)
Eddie Young and his wife Diana (Murray Sanders)

Tributes have been paid to legendary Fleet Street lawyer Eddie Young, who has died following a long illness.

Mr Young, 80, was regarded as one of the greatest legal minds of his generation and has been described by his former colleagues as an unsung hero of the newspaper business.

His career as a media lawyer started in 1969 when he joined the Evening Standard. He joined the Daily Mail in 1985 after Associated Newspapers bought the Standard and he continued to advise both papers until his retirement in 2009.

Mr Young is best known for his legal advice to then-Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre for the publication of the “MURDERERS” headline in 1997 over the killing of Stephen Lawrence.

Mr Young loved the newsroom buzz and the adrenaline rush of breaking stories. He would have just a few moments to advise on contentious front pages before the story had to go to press. Eddie remained unflappable, whatever the story. Former colleagues described him as a “newsroom legend, with a wry sense of humour and a true friend”.

Mr Young was born in London in 1942, one of six children to Katherine and Alfred Young. He attended St Benedict’s in Ealing, where he was captain of the cricket team and played in the rugby XV.

He remained a keen follower of both sports. He died of pneumonia following a long battle with cancer on November 17, aged 80. Mr Young is survived by his wife Diana and their three children, Daniella, Nadine and Ilan.