Metro US
The New York edition of Metro US newspaper Metro US

Tony Metcalf, editor-in-chief of the free daily newspaper Metro US, died Sunday. He was 50.

The British-born journalist had been battling colon cancer and passed away after a “brief but heroic battle,” the paper said in a statement Monday.

Born in Newton Aycliffe, Northern England, Metcalf first joined Metro International in 2000. Under his tenure, the company launched Metro newspapers in 20 cities around the world. Metcalf left the company in 2003 to launch 7Days, a free daily tabloid in Dubai. He eventually sold that paper to the UK’s Associated Newspapers, now DMG Media, parent company of the Daily Mail. He rejoined Metro in 2008 to oversee its U.S. editions in New York, Philadelphia and Boston, as well as its online department.

Yggers Mortensen, CEO of Metro US, said in a statement that the company lost its “best friend.”

“For the last four years, we have not only built a very strong newspaper but also a special friendship. Our friendship grew stronger and stronger from the first day we met. Tony always said that people didn’t get me -- but he did. And through our many hours together, we learned a lot about each other. His interest in other people was amazing -- something that will remain with me forever. He cared as deeply about me and my family as I did about his.”

Several Metro staff members posted their own statements about Metcalf on the website, including fond memories, anecdotes and well-wishes to Metcalf’s family.

Metcalf is survived by his wife, Lesley, and their two children, Alex, 18, and Freya, 10. The paper said Monday that donations can be made to Saint Theresa’s Hospice in Darlington, England, where Metcalf spent his final days.

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