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Hero of '66 pays tribute to veteran sports writer

England’s World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks is among those who have lined up to pay tribute to a former regional press football writer.

Peter Hewitt, left, spent over two decades covering Stoke City FC, and later Crewe Alexandra, for The Sentinel before his retirement.

Mr Banks, an ex-Stoke City player, told The Sentinel: “We called him ‘Scoop’ and would often have a laugh with Peter.

“He was a really nice guy and was trusted by the players because he never wrote anything derogatory and would report exactly what you had said to him.

“It is very sad news and my condolences go to his family.”

Born in Birmingham, Peter started his career with the Birmingham Mail where he worked on their football papers before joining The Sentinel in 1967.

He was almost fired after covering his first ever Stoke City match when he became the unwitting victim of a row between The Sentinel’s then sports editor Peter Buxton and the club’s manager Tony Waddington.

During his career, Peter covered all Stoke City’s major ups and downs including their victory in the 1972 League Cup Final.

He was also well known on the local cricket scene and continued reporting matches until the end of last season when poor health forced him to stop.

Away from sport, Peter was an active member of the National Union of Journalists and was father of The Sentinel chapel and chairman of the North Staffordshire branch.

Sentinel editor-in-chief Mike Sassi added: “He was explicitly trusted by his readers, his peers and those he wrote about and you can’t pay Peter a much higher compliment than that.

“He may not have been the most vocal of chaps but his writing ensured his love of the job came through loud and clear.”

Peter suffered a heart attack a couple of years ago and died of a brain haemorrhage in hospital on Monday.

His funeral takes place on 22 January at St Mary’s Church, in Alsager, at 1pm.

  • A full obituary piece with more tributes can be read on The Sentinel’s website.