Photographer, Campbell, Dies Suddenly

A long-established freelance photographer – who was effectively No.2 on The Scottish Sun picture desk until a couple of years ago – has died suddenly.

Joe Campbell is suspected of having yesterday died of a heart attack. It is understood that he and his wife had been out for a walk and, after pressing ahead on his way home, he was found in the driveway of his house, in the Scottish Borders. He was in his mid-50s. 

After 15 years doing casual shifts at The Scottish Sun, he left almost two years ago to set up a photographic shop in Melrose. A holder of a private pilot's licence, he was not averse to flying out of Glasgow or Cumbernauld airports on a job.

Said The Scottish Sun's picture editor, Mark Sweeney: ”I was absolutely shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news about Joe. I first worked with Joe back in 1983 and over the years became very good friends and colleagues. 

“A day spent here at the Scottish Sun picture desk with Joe was never dull, to say the least, usually ending up with a fun tale to tell, usually accompanied by a glass of vino. 

“Joe didn't suffer fools and could spot an “F***ing arsehole” at 40 paces and was never afraid to inform them of their newly-acquired title. Joe lived life to the full and his loud hearty laugh will ring in my ears for many a year to come. He was simply a legend here at the picture desk where he kept us in stitches for the 15 years he worked here.

“He was one of the last real characters in the Scottish newspaper industry and will be greatly missed by all his former colleagues uspecially here the Scottish Sun.

“My thoughts are with his wife, Claire, at this sad time.”

His career also included casual shifts on the Scottish Daily Express.

Send your tributes here.

“A lovely guy who will be very sadly missed.” Craig Halkett.

“I worked with Joe at the Express for four years, we covered many a story together in that time. Joe made me laugh every day, on every job, in every pub, everywhere we went. I will miss Joe terribly, but am so thankful to have shared so many experiences with him, and learned so much from him.” Michelle Rodger

“What a terrible shock to hear of Joe’s sudden and untimely death. I worked with him in the early 80s when he was freelancing for The Scottish Sun, and in the late 90s when he was on the picture desk and I was working news desk shifts there. He was a true professional and such a nice guy.” Iain Fleming

“I spent many a late shift at The Sun with Joe. He was a real character and we had some great laughs – usually at other peoples' expense. We also spent a lot of time discussing the benefits of a good vino. He will be sadly missed and I am saddened by this dreadful news. My thoughts are with Claire at the moment but I shall also remember the good times.” Deborah Welsh

“Joe was always the life and soul of any party. My memories of Joe are too many to mention. Like me, he loved his fast cars and I always had fun working with him. One of Scotland's great characters who will never be forgotten.” Steve Welsh

“Very sad news. I was with Joe just a few weeks ago when he was taking pictures of Fiona Hyslop seeing off water containers for Pakistan from Glasgow Airport. He was in his usual fine form then. Same as he was years ago when I worked with him at The Herald. One of life's good guys.” Keith Sinclair

“Spent many fun-filled out-of-towners with Joe, including one memorable awayday to Mull for the Scottish Sunday Express when he flew us across to the island from Cumbernauld in a leased twin-engined Beech Duchess as he needed to clock up a few more hours. His flying skills were excellent, as were his pictures that day. Joe was quite simply one of life’s good guys who’d always do you a turn if he could. Our thoughts and condolences to Claire and all Joe’s family. Thanks for the good memories, big fella. You will be missed.” David Hamilton

“Joe was a great friend for many years his style and wit will never be forgotten by those who were close to him. I worked with Joe on many jobs over the years, he was a great photographer and his talents will be missed. Over the past 15 years or so, we travelled with a few select friends to various parts of the world and enjoyed a few wee drams together. They really were the good days – we will miss you Joe. Our thoughts are with Claire and the family at this sad time.” Willie Thornton

“We first knew Joe and Claire as neighbours back in 1989 and they remained close friends ever since. There was rarely a dull moment with Joe, especially at his infamous barbecues. Joe had some amazing stories and always took interest in what you had to say, there was no subject he could not converse about and you could always be sure he would speak his mind! It was a privilege to have known him and to have shared part of his colourful, interesting life and we are especially grateful for the fact that we were able meet up with Joe and Claire during this Summer and catch up on old times. Our thoughts are with Claire at this time.” Graham and Janet Dawson and Kathryn

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