Affectionate tributes have been paid to former Mail on Sunday and Sun football writer Bob Cass who has died of cancer aged 78.
Mail on Sunday sports editor Alison Kerwin told the Daily Mail: “Bob Cass was a huge force on the Mail on Sunday – a brilliant journalist with fantastic contacts. Professionally and socially he was a whirlwind of vibrant stories and colourful anecdotes.
“He produced back page story after back page story – always knowing what was going on at the heart of football because he had such great contacts who became great friends. He was greatly loved and greatly admired and will be sorely missed.”
Daily Telegraph chief sports writer Paul Hayward said: “Whenever we discussed Bob Cass, Sir Alex Ferguson would say with a warmth that always struck me: ‘He’s a great lad, Cassy.’ Said it all.”
Andy Dunn of the Daily Mirror said: “This job has brought great privileges – being able to count Bob Cass as a friend is one of the greatest. RIP my old mate. Will miss you.”
Scott Wilson, of the Northern Echo, said: “So sad to hear of death of North East sports writing legend Bob Cass. A true gent, a great journalist and a massive help to so many of us.”
Sports writer and broadcaster Des Kelly said: “Some of best trips and funniest nights I’ve had in this game were with the sports writer Bob Cass. A man loved by all who met him.”
Former England striker Gary Lineker said: “Very sad to hear that Bob Cass has passed away. Terrific sports journalist, great character and a lovely man.”
In he said: “To know Robert Stanley Cass was one of life’s privileges.
“He was a champion; a true friend of the human race. As a gatherer of football news stories he was unsurpassed. His contacts were from every corner of the football world. He was a journalist you could trust with your life and people knew that as soon as they met him. The trust was unspoken.
“If you saw the words ‘Exclusive…by Bob Cass’ you knew instantly there was true substance in what you were reading. Football folk loved him. He had humour, compassion and knowledge.
“You could be playing golf with him in La Manga, Spain, where we had many a happy trip and his mobile would ring. When we told him to switch it off he would tell you that it was Fergie, Harry Redknapp, Sam Allardyce or any one of the old game’s luminaries.
“They loved him because they trusted him implicitly and such relationships were forged long before Google and protective Press Officers got their grip on the game. Bob was ‘old school’ and it worked.”