MOVING tributes have been paid to a former North Wales newspaper sub-editor and Prestatyn Town Football Club vice-chairman following his death.

Mark Jones died yesterday (December 8) aged 61, after a short battle with sepsis.

As well as his involvement with the Rhyl Journal, North Wales Pioneer and North Wales Chronicle newspapers and Prestatyn Town, “football afficionado” Mark also owned The Beautiful Game - a football memorabilia shop on Prestatyn High Street.

Later in life he worked at St Melyd Golf Club, serving refreshments.

Mark, from Prestatyn, leaves behind his wife, Yvette Byrne Jones; his stepson, Michael; and their Jack Russell Terrier, Lili.

Yvette, who first met Mark when they were at Prestatyn High School together, celebrated the life of a “gentle, genuine, caring” man.

She said: “He was the kindest, most loving person you could meet. He just wanted to make Michael and I so happy. He lived his life for us.

“He was such a gentle, genuine, caring person and well-respected and loved by everyone who we came across.

“We went out for a couple of years, and then his work took him to London, so we split up.

“It was purely by chance that we got back together again, and we were together for 20 years and married for 18. It was a true love story, really.

“He used to walk Lili nearly every night. There used to be the excuse of: ‘We had to call into the pub so she could have a drink of water!’”

Mark’s funeral will take place on Wednesday, December 21 at 10am at St Asaph Crematorium.

Donations in Mark’s memory at the funeral will be gratefully received by The UK Sepsis Trust and Pet Rescue Welfare Association, Dyserth.

A reception will be held afterwards at St Melyd Golf Club, where Yvette said he loved working.

She added: “He quickly made it his mission to make the best bacon and sausage baps in the world.

“He loved it there. We were just both so happy with our lives.”

Asked for her favourite memory of Mark, Yvette said: “When we got back together with each other.

“He saw a friend of mine in a pub in Rhyl, and just happened to ask about me in conversation.

“She filled him in on the fact that I’d be recently been widowed, and he phoned me up when I was trying to do the ironing one Sunday night.

“He came round, and we took off as if we’d never been apart. We were definitely always meant to be together.”

Newsquest print audience and content editor Terry Canty, with whom Mark worked at the Journal, Pioneer and Chronicle, paid tribute to his former colleague.

He said: “I was saddened to hear news of Mark's death.

“I was fortunate to have worked closely with him for several years producing the North Wales Pioneer, Rhyl Journal and North Wales Chronicle.

“Mark will be remembered for his huge contribution to the North Wales newspaper industry.

“I will remember him for his intelligence, attention to detail, warmth, honesty, generosity of spirit and guidance, which I will always be grateful for and will always value.”

Mark spent many years working for newspapers in the North Wales region.

He was employed until 2018 by NWN Media Ltd (now Newsquest North Wales) on the region’s coastal titles when they were edited by Andrew Martin, who died early last year.

Dean Jones, another former colleague of Mark’s, descried him as one of the “pillars of the North Wales media scene”.

He said: “Mark was a lovely bloke, a football aficionado.

“There wasn’t much he didn’t know about the local football scene, and was passionate about Prestatyn Town, helping them significantly during their rise to prominence.

“Mark always called things straight down the line and was right to the point, which I always appreciated.

“He was a significant help during my transition into journalism and would always enjoy our chats whenever I saw him in town.

“Mark and Andy Martin were pillars of the North Wales media scene; two men I owe a great deal to and would not be where I am today without their influence.”

St Melyd Golf Club and Prestatyn Town also shared tributes to Mark.

The golf club said: “We are sorry to hear sad news of the passing of Mark Jones.

“Mark was a valued member of Julia’s team, serving many refreshments from the hut.

“Thoughts and condolences are with his family at this difficult time.”

Prestatyn Town said: “The club are saddened to hear the news that former vice chairman Mark Jones passed away.

“Mark also wrote programmes, was our matchday announcer, and designed our first website.

“Our thoughts are with Mark’s wife Yvette, son Michael and the rest of the family.”