SCOTTISH journalism has been plunged into sadness following the death of David Kelso, one of the country’s most distinguished reporters, at 63.
Educated at Jordanhill College School in Glasgow, David joined a local paper in Clydebank as a trainee reporter in the mid-1970s and quickly revealed not only an unerring eye for a good story but also a flair for sub-editing and page design.
It was as a sub-editor that he joined the Daily Record, then the largest-selling daily newspaper in Scotland.
He quickly moved through the ranks, coping apparently effortlessly with the demands and pressures of a busy news desk.
It was little surprise when the Scottish Sun, the Record’s great rival, head-hunted David, appointing him to the role of night editor and later assistant editor.
However, David’s first love of breaking news stories saw him carve out a new career as a freelance reporter.
He was a regular on the press benches at Dumbarton Sheriff Court where he broke several exclusives.
Having spotted a gap in sports coverage, he established himself as the leading freelance rugby correspondent in the country and developed a particular niche in supplying the tabloids with user-friendly copy.
In a separate enterprise and in partnership with a freelance colleague, he formed Cricket Media Scotland, the first agency in the country to cover international and domestic Scottish cricket.
Having lived most of his life in Glasgow’s west-end, David spent his final years on the Isle of Arran where he ran a successful bed and breakfast business in addition to continuing his freelance work.
Not even a cancer diagnosis curtailed David’s journalist activities. The consummate professional, he filed his final story from a hospital bed on Friday 30 October but became too ill to carry on and died four days later.
He is survived by partner Carol and sons Roddy and Duncan.