British AP chief sports writer dies covering World Cup

A British reporter covering the World Cup for Associated Press has died apparently of natural causes in a hotel room in Johannesburg.

AP chief sports writer Robert Millward, 58, joined the AP in London in 1984 after previously working for the Birmingham Post. He has also worked as news editor of Caters News, the Birmingham-based agency. He was found dead in a hotel room yesterday.

According to AP, he had covered 52 sports for the agency and was a writer ‘whose passion for football and love of life endeared him to colleagues and competitors alike”.

The agency quotes AP sports editor Terry Taylor who said: ‘Robert was a lovely man who truly had a zest for life. He had a twinkle in his eye, a sly sense of humor and, usually, a self-deprecating remark that made him an irresistible magnet for all of us.

‘We loved his company as much as he loved big assignments, especially the World Cup. We will miss his good cheer and we are very, very saddened by his loss.”

The agency also quotes its international sports editor Simon Haydon: ‘Robert’s sudden death is a blow to all his colleagues and friends at AP. He was a gentleman among British sports writers, always ready to help and always willing and excited to cover new stories.

“Robert’s enthusiasm was legendary and in South Africa he had been at his most versatile, filing impressive footballing stories until hours before his collapse. The Associated Press and sports journalism is a poorer place for Robert’s death.”

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