TRIBUTES have been paid following the death of popular former Greenock Telegraph editor Anne Caine at the age of only 47.

Anne, a much-loved mum, wife and sister, spent 10 years at the Tele, first as a chief sub-editor before taking on the lead role.

She had first taken ill around 18 months ago and bravely battled a string of serious health issues.

Anne died at home in Inverkip on Saturday September 22 after a sudden and unexpected turn for the worse.

Her sister Louise Campbell, 37, said: "We are devastated.

"It has hit the family really hard.

"We were completely in shock.

"We knew she wasn't in the best of health but she seemed to be adapting.

"I spoke to her the day before and she seemed fine.

"She seemed to take a turn for the worse.

"It was unexpected.

"It was just terrible."

Anne was married to Iain, a former postman, and they have a young son Joe, 10, a pupil at Inverkip Primary.

Louise, who lives in Grangemouth, said: "We are devastated.

"It's just so sad for her, for Joe and Iain.

"She doted on Joe, he was her pride and joy.

"He's just like her."

Anne was born and bred in a little village called Limerigg in the Falkirk area and as a teenager moved to Grangemouth when she met Iain.

She studied journalism at Napier College in Edinburgh and worked at the Lothian Courier and the Falkirk Herald.

Anne landed a post with the Scotland on Sunday before coming to the Tele and threw herself into community life and settled here.

She quickly proved popular among staff and readers and was always encouraging and helpful to new reporters.

Anne was the oldest in the family, followed by her sister Jennifer, 42, a college tutor and artist who lives in Bo'ness with her partner Scott and their son Harvey, six.

Louise is married to Andrew and has two daughters Amy, 22, and six-year-old Mollie.

The family sadly lost their beloved mum Kathleen Miles Gray to cancer in 2005 and their dad James Gray is being cared for in a nursing home.

Louise, a lab technician at an optician's, said: "Anne was 10 years older than me and was almost like a second mum to me.

"She would read me stories.

"It was Anne who got me into reading.

"She was an avid reader and so am I.

"She got me interested in different things, culture and the arts.

"She inspired me."

The family were very proud of all Anne's career achievements, including leading the Tele to the finals of the Scottish Press Awards on several occasions.

She said: "We thought it was brilliant.

"She did so well."

After leaving the Telegraph in 2013 Anne worked at East Renfrewshire Council in their communications department and then at Argyll and Bute Council.

She worked right up to when she was ill last December and was even ready to go into the office when Iain had called an ambulance to take her to hospital.

Louise said: "She kept saying 'I'll be fine'- she didn't want to give in to it.

"But she knew then she wouldn't be able to work again and that was the worst thing for her.

"Even then she was thinking she could do something."

She said the family have been deeply touched by online tributes to Anne.

Louise said: "They're lovely comments.

"It was nice to hear she was so well thought of.

"I think she would like to be remembered as the person she knew she was.

"People looked up to her and respected her.

"She was a clever person, a knowledgeable person.

"She was unconventional, she was anti-convention.

"She got married on a Monday and wore a brown dress - she liked to challenge ideas."

Anne's successor as Telegraph editor in 2013, Brian Hossack, today paid tribute to his former colleague.

Brian said: "Anne was someone who took pride in working with the Telegraph's team, making them feel valued and developing and nurturing their talent.

"But while she was an outstanding editor and journalist, anyone who met Anne will first and foremost remember her as a fair, compassionate and understanding person.

"She played a huge role in keeping the paper at the heart of Inverclyde and had a real impact on the lives of everyone who met her.

"Anne will be sorely missed by the profession, but will be missed most of all by the people who were lucky enough to have been able to call her a friend as well as a colleague."

Inverclyde Council leader Stephen McCabe also paid a touching tribute to Anne.

He said: "The relationship between council and local newspaper can be close, tense, argumentative and friendly.

"Sometimes that happens all in the same day.

“What never changes is that the personal qualities of good people always shine through.

"In any dealings with Anne at her time with the Tele, she was clearly a thoroughly decent person and was always cheery and positive in her manner.

“Anne had far too little time on this world.

"I hope that Anne’s family and her wee boy Joe get some comfort from the positive messages being expressed since news of her death from the many people who knew her over her life.

“On behalf of the employees and councillors of Inverclyde Council, I send our thoughts and prayers to Anne’s family.”