Tributes have been paid to the beloved editor of Hertfordshire Life magazine and former Comet reporter Richard Young.

Richard sadly passed away last month at the age of 49 after a short illness.

Born in 1973, the youngest of three children he grew up in Stevenage, attending Barnwell School.

The Comet: Tributes have been paid to Richard Young, who died following a short illness last monthTributes have been paid to Richard Young, who died following a short illness last month (Image: Archant)

He joined the Comet owned by publishing group Archant in February 2008 as a trainee reporter, going into journalism later in life at the age of 34. 

It gave him an insight into the job less experienced reporters didn’t have and he made the most of this, challenging and questioning all aspects of the role and paying close attention to detail.

He made national journalism headlines soon after he started in 2008 when he overturned a gagging order on a court case by applying directly to magistrates.

He was appointed editor of Hertfordshire Life part of the regional Archant Life titles, which have recently been acquired by Newsquest, in December 2012.

During his ten years as editor he mentored many young journalists, launched the Hertfordshire Life Food and Drink Awards championing Hertfordshire’s local food and drink industry, gave amateur photographers a platform and was a regular face at events across the county.

The Comet: Richard pictured at the Comet Sports AwardsRichard pictured at the Comet Sports Awards (Image: Archant)

Colleagues on the Life county magazines team were devastated by the news of his death.

Editorial assistant Julie Lucas, who worked for him on Hertfordshire Life for over six years, said. “He was a talented editor, mentor, colleague and friend and I valued his advice. He was always focussed on creating the best magazine possible, but out of the office was great fun. He really was the heart of Herts Life.”

"Richard was an absolute one-off," said Dominic Castle, who was Richard's group editor in the east for several years. "He was totally committed to creating the best Hertfordshire Life magazine that he could.

"He was a great colleague, always happy to share his thoughts, knowledge and experience with the rest of us and was especially helpful to the newer editors. Richard was a very fine journalist and upheld the best standards."

Former editor of the Comet Darren Isted said: "Richard was loved by everyone who came into contact with him precisely because 'Richard being Richard’ was a state of being which meant life was being lived to the full."

Richard leaves a partner Sarah and 10-month-old son Louis.

His sister Laura Young described him as "carefree but caring, courageous and with a huge zest for life".

Donations can be made in his memory to The Journalism Diversity Fund