Written by Liz Willingham:

“I can’t remember a time working in this area, since 1993, without Neal being a part of our day-to-day. He was always a fantastic ambassador for the business since it started 15 years ago; my team and I have a lot to thank him for.

“Working with him (and learning from him) was always a joy and I have so many happy, fun memories, particularly as editor of the Echo. Moments like the spoof Beckham/Dolphin Quays front page back in circa 1999 and when I got stuck in the Echo lift. He joked about reassuring the newsroom that he’d keep me in there for a week! Neal also made some pretty boring evening events a lot more fun with his company, along with his beautiful wife Julie.

“I am so pleased that we had chance to work together since his return from Spain, he was the ultimate words smith and to have his copywriting skills and advice around us was a real honour.

“He was a public speaking genius and captivated everyone in the room every time he presented, whether it was the Dorset Business Awards some years ago, the Bournemouth Tourism Awards or Top of the Shops, Poole’s Retail Awards. His warmth and charm trickled into everyone, being such a caring family man, yet harnessing the edge of a respected journalist and editor.

“Neal is going to be sadly missed by so many, but his impact on the wider community is a legacy and that should be a little reassurance to Julie and his family at this awful time. Our love from us all at Liz Lean PR goes out to them, it is such a terrible loss of a wonderful young man.”

Liz Lean ladies, Liz and Carol with Neal Butterworth at the 2006 Dorset Business Awards