Frank Booth - Bolton editor and sports writer

An influential writer whose lengthy career in Bolton made his name synonymous with the best in professional journalism has died.

Frank Booth was 68 and had been ill for only a short time.

Born
in Farnworth, Frank started and finished his working career with the
Bolton Evening News group – spending a decade as the newspaper’s chief
football writer – and working in between times for other publications,
becoming a well-known figure in many areas of Lancashire life.

Frank
started his journalistic career on the Farnworth Journal and later
moved to the sports desk at the Bolton Evening News before going on to
join the sports staff of the Daily Mirror in Manchester.

In the late 1960s, he returned to his roots to become chief football writer and deputy sports editor of the Bolton Evening News.

His reports of the Wanderers’

games
were the main feature in The Buff – the Saturday night sports edition
produced by the Bolton Evening News – and he was known by all the
players and staff at Burnden Park.

There, he covered the
burgeoning careers of players such as Sam Allardyce and Peter Reid
among many others, as well as working with a number of managers such as
Nat Lofthouse, Jimmy Meadows, Jimmy Armfield and Ian Greaves.

After
leaving the Evening News in 1979, Frank was one of the founders and
first editor of the Bolton Chronicle, which led to him becoming a keen
observer of local politics in the town. It also gave him the
opportunity to keep in touch with, and cover, the activities of the
Wanderers.

When Frank and his associates finally relinquished
their interest in the Chronicle, he became editor of weekly
publications in Rossendale and Burnley.

In the 1980s, Reed bought
the Bolton Evening News, a move that eventually led to Frank returning
to Bolton, where he was appointed editor of the Bolton Journal and head
of commercial features. He remained in that post until 2003, finally
taking retirement along with his wife, Barbara, who was headmistress of
Spindle Point Primary School in Kearsley.

Frank was well
respected by his journalistic colleagues and was well-known in the
northern offices of all the major daily newspapers that were produced
in Manchester.

Steve Hughes, editor of the Bolton Evening News,
praised Frank as “one of the last of the old school of journalism,
maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and integrity”.

He
added: “Frank returned to work at the Bolton Evening News after
retiring, bringing his own blend of experience and good humour to the
office and to our publications.

“He was popular with his
colleagues and with the public, who warmed to his genuine interest in
the town and the people. He will certainly be sadly missed.”

Des
McBain, a director of Bolton Wanderers who was secretary and chief
executive when Frank was covering the team’s activities, said that he
did “tremendous work with the newspaper and certainly did a tremendous
job reporting for the club”.

He added: “Frank was very pro-
Bolton Wanderers in many of the things he did and he gave us a lot of
good publicity, but always stuck to his guns. If he was critical, it
was positive criticism. He was a wonderful character and we will miss
him.”

Prominent local businessman and travel boss Andrew Dickson
said: “I worked with Frank regularly over the years. He was genuinely
interested in travel and in the town.”

He leaves a wife Barbara, daughter Helen and son David.

Bolton Evening News

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