The Daily Star's chief football writer Danny Fullbrook has died aged 40.
The Star's Brian Woolnough paid tribute to the 'larger than life'character today, saying he had a 'heart of gold and in football journalism that is not easy".
Fulbrook died after an 18-month battle with cancer. Writing in the Star today, Woolnough said: 'Frank and Fearless, we called him, and that's how Danny was right to the end.
'His attitude to life was always to have fun and none of us who knew him and worked with him, will forget his love of entertaining.
'Being at the centre of things, holding court, telling us he was right and that we knew nothing.
'It didn't matter whether you were Frank Lampard or a junior reporter, Danny would put you right. A smile, of course, accompanied the banter.
'Players and managers liked him because Danny could be trusted, a must-have quality in the cut throat world of football reporting."
Fullbrook studied at Hull University and did his journalism training in Preston, before joining the Hull Daily Mail and later the Birmingham Evening Mail.
After a short spell at the Star as a midlands football reporter he moved to the Sunday Mirror, returning to the Star as chief football writer in 2000.
'He soon made an impact because that is how it always was with this larger than life character,'said Woolnough.
'He had a heart of gold and in football journalism that is not easy."
Woolnough said Fullbrook was 'passionate, fiercely loyal, great company and a true character", adding: 'Football will miss him and so will we. Why is it always the good guys?"
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand tweeted this morning: "RIP Danny Fullbrook, thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."
Adrian Bevington, the managing director of Club England, said: "On behalf of the FA and everyone in the England set-up including the players we would like to express our sadness and deepest sympathy on learning that Danny has passed away.
"Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time. He was a very well-respected individual and a real character around the football media circuit who will be greatly missed by everybody.
"To lose someone so young is the saddest part of this."