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Tributes to sports reporter's 'unsurpassed' knowledge

Sports journalism in Northern Ireland has lost one of its most renowned and respected figures.

Tributes had flooded in for Jack Magowan who has died aged 79 after a short illness.

Jack began his journalism career with the now closed Northern Whig before joining the Belfast Telegraph in 1950 where he stayed until retirement in 1991.

He was known as an all-rounder with a special interest and knowledge in golf and boxing and was the Telegraph’s dedicated correspondent for the two sports.

Former Telegraph sports editor Malcolm Brodie wrote: “His knowledge of boxing was unsurpassed, his research and archival facilities the envy of competitors.

“A member of the British Boxing Writers Association he had a special friendship with Reg Gutteridge, ITV commentator and for years the London Evening News boxing writer, and Harry Carpenter of the BBC, both of whom accepted his ability to ‘read’ fights.

“Golf, his other addiction, held him in total esteem – so much so he was made an honorary member of many Northern Ireland clubs.”

Jack covered over 30 Open Championships, Ryder Cups and other major tournaments and was a founder member of the Belfast Press Golf Society.

Malcolm added: “Behind his straight-from-the-hip approach there was a genuine warmth and friendliness, never a mercenary streak, a feeling for his fellow humans and a generosity in helping causes or those who might have hit hard times.

“Sincere sympathy is extended from all in Northern Ireland sport to his wife Betty, Simon and daughter Jane. We have all lost a wonderful colleague and sport a true friend.”