Time spent with Mike Broadis was an education which came with added laughter.

His dry sense of humour and his encyclopedic general knowledge were among the attributes which made Mike a hugely popular figure in his native Carlisle.

Mike died last month at the age of 69.

He was the son of football legend Ivor Broadis and Ivor’s late wife Joan.

Sport played a major role in Mike’s life too, during his youth and in his career as a journalist.

He attended Stanwix Primary School and Carlisle Grammar School.

Grammar school boys played rugby rather than football.

Mike excelled at both and competed for the county as a sprinter.

He was also gifted academically, gaining a BA Honours degree in English and American literature at Warwick University.

After graduating, Mike returned to Carlisle and used his talent for words as a sub-editor with The Cumberland News.

He later became features editor.

The paper was a family affair for the Broadises in those days.

Mike’s sister Gillian was a copy-taker and Ivor was Carlisle United reporter.

Andrew Leitch is a former colleague of Mike’s.

He says: “Mike was a great asset to the newspaper, both for his sub-editing skills and also his larger-than-life personality.

“The newsroom was often much quieter when he was on a day off!

“Careerwise, I think that his skills could have taken him to Fleet Street.

“But he was very much a Carlisle lad and preferred the Great Border City to the life of the big city.”

Mike left The Cumberland News in the early 1980s, occasionally returning on a freelance basis.

For several years he worked shifts in the newsroom at Border Television.

Mike also owned Carlisle News Agency, which supplied stories to national newspapers.

His work included covering Carlisle United by writing match reports and, in the days before email, phoning them in as the final whistle sounded.

Some choice language was not unknown if a last-minute goal made a sudden rewrite necessary.

Mike’s spiritual home was The Howard Arms on Lowther Street.

He regularly held court there, amusing and educating generations of journalists and other regulars.

Twelve years ago Mike and his partner Frances Gill fulfilled a long-term ambition by moving to Crete.

“He loved the island and the Greek culture,” says Frances.

“He went every evening to a café in the village.

“It’s where the Cretans go to drink coffee and put the world to rights.

“The ex-pats use it as a pub because it also sells beer.

“Michael would sit and chat to people about a variety of things but especially politics, history and football.

“Michael had a very sharp intellect. His big passion was history, especially Greek history.

“He knew something about everything. He could fit into any situation and talk to anyone.

“He had a really good Cretan friend called Artemis.

“They loved having debates about history and pitting their wits against each other.

“Artemis was very upset when Mike died and asked if he could have a book that belonged to Mike and would I write something suitable in the cover.

“I gave him Mike’s favourite book, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.

“I wrote ‘This book is for you Artemis, it was Michael’s favourite. He would want you to have it.’”

Away from the cut and thrust of debate and banter, there was a quieter side to Mike.

He enjoyed painting his huge collection of miniature military figures.

He returned to Carlisle several times a year, most recently last October to proudly see his father made a freeman of the city.

In January Mike was diagnosed with cancer. He died a few weeks later.

His funeral took place in a Greek Orthodox church on Crete and he was buried in the churchyard.

“A lot of Cretans came to his service,” says Frances. “Michael would have been pleased by that.”

Frances’s son Simon said of Mike: “What can I say about a man who inspired others to ask questions, who could speak so eloquently but yet so simply, who made a conversation into a history lesson.”

Mike and Frances were together for 26 years.

Frances says: “He reawakened my brain because of his love of literature.

“That was one of the things we had in common, as well as our love of travelling. He brought so much to my life.”