Fleet Street sports writing 'colossus' Peter Batt has died

Legendary Fleet Street sports writer and hell-raiser Peter Batt has died aged 77.

Sports writer Norman Giller told Press Gazette that Batt was a “colossus of Fleet Street sports writers” adding: “I defy anyone in the Fleet Street writing game to surpass his experiences”.

Writing on the Sports Journalists Association website Giller says:

He was/is as big a legend in sports journalism as dear Henry Cooper was in boxing. To lose them both in the same weekend is too painful to bear.

Everybody has a Peter Batt story, the difference being that I was there as a disbelieving and often dismayed eyewitness at the birth of many of the anecdotes that have made him fabled.

I couldn’t find anything about Batt in Press Gazette’s digital archive – which only stretches back a few years. But here is a photo of him, which I am guessing may date from around the time of the release of his autobiography: “Batty, The Life and Wild Times of the Guvnor of Fleet Street”, in 2000.

Batt wrote for titles including The Sun and the Daily Star and also worked as a scriptwriter for Eastenders, which he talks a about in  this entertaining interview with The Independent.

12.30pm UPDATE: Roy Greenslade has now added his reminiscences about Batt:

Batty was, at turns, pugnacious, funny, irreverent, undisciplined and, when drunk, argumentative. He was always loud, one of those annoying writers who liked to talk while tapping away at his typewriter.

His funeral is due to be held at 11am on Monday, 16 May, at the North East Surrey Crematorium in Morden.

If anyone has any Peter Batt stories they’d like to share please get in touch.

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