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Stars' tributes after journalist dies at 51

Big names from the world of sport were among mourners at the funeral of Lancashire Evening Telegraph deputy sports editor and chief sports writer Peter White.

Blackburn Rovers manager Graeme Souness and former Aussie Test cricketer Peter Sleep joined other sports stars past and present at the service in Great Harwood, where Father Anthony McLaughlin described Peter as “a wonderful, relative, friend and colleague…honest, straightforward, fair and loyal”.

Tributes have been pouring into the Telegraph since Peter’s death from cancer at the age of 51.

Alan Shearer called him “brilliant to deal with”. Blackburn Rovers chief executive John Williams said he had the rare ability to combine a passion for the club with objective, in-depth journalism. Championship winning skipper Tim Shearer, now with Tottenham, said: “He was not one of those reporters who would twist what you were saying. It says a lot that I don’t really speak to the media unless I get paid – and Peter certainly never paid me anything.”

On Wednesday, the paper’s Sports Letters page was dominated by tributes from readers. One wrote: “After reading complete nonsense and fictitious drivel for years in the national tabloids, it was always reassuring to know that Peter White’s sports column would give every Blackburn Rovers supporter the accurate news about their club in a down-to-earth way.”

Peter began his career in journalism at the Blackburn Times, where his passion for sport led to him covering it for the paper under his mentor and sports editor, William Westall.

He left the Times to work briefly for the Lancashire Evening Post before landing his dream job – covering Blackburn Rovers for the Evening Telegraph.

Editor Peter Butterfield said: “He was highly respected and a true professional.” Andsports editor Neil Bramwell said: “He tackled all his work with the qualities that typified the man – intelligence, honesty, integrity, honour, pride, passion, a tremendous work ethic and a sense of humour.”

Peter, who leaves, a wife, Val, wrote Blackburn’s match day programme for many years and was also an avid supporter of Rishton Cricket Club and his local non-League soccer team, Great Harwood.

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