A Darlington man renowned for his many letters printed in The Northern Echo has died aged 83.

Fred Wealands was known by friends and family for his strong views on everything from politics to football and over the years wrote scores of letters for the Hear All Sides section of the paper.

The pensioner died on Thursday last week and his son, Jeff, said he will be greatly missed by many.

"He lived in Darlington all his life and loved everything about the place," he said.

"He read The Northern Echo and would always be writing in. He had strong opinions and would voice them."

In the last four years alone, Mr Wealands had letters printed on issues including Darlington Football Club, of which he was a life-long fan, Labour Government, the Euro, football hooliganism and the arson attack at Middleton St George Primary School.

During the Second World War he served in the RAF as an armourer and later worked for Darlington Fire Brigade before retiring aged 57. As well as football, he was also a keen cricketer and bowls player.

His funeral will take place at 2pm at St John's Church, Bank Top, near Darlington railway station, on Thursday.