Former chief sports writer for The Guardian Frank Keating – who continued to write his sports column for The Observer until a few weeks ago – has died at the age of 75.
The Guardian reports that he had been suffering from pneumonia.
He first joined The Guardian as a sub-editor in 1963 and, after working in television for six years, rejoined the paper in 1970.
Editor Alan Rusbridger is quoted on Guardian.co.uk saying: "Frank was an immense figure in sports journalism for more than 50 years. He was a unique character, combining sophisticated sporting knowledge with a deep empathy and understanding of the human side of sport.
"Frank was also universally popular with an inspiring and uplifting personality that was infectious.
"As a writer, Frank deserves to be placed in the very elite of British sportswriting in the last century – and amazingly, though ill, was still writing his wonderful weekly column in the Observer up until a few weeks ago.
"Our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this sad time."