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Sports reporter who rose to nationals loses cancer fight aged 40

England manager Roy Hodgson has led tributes to a national press football writer who began his career on a regional daily.

Danny Fullbrook, who has died at the age of 40 after an 18-month battle with cancer, became the Daily Star’s chief football writer after starting out at the Hull Daily Mail.

From there he moved on to work at the Birmingham Evening Mail, Daily Star and Sunday Mirror before rejoining the Star in 2000.

Such was Danny’s standing in the game that England manager Roy and captain Steven Gerrard interrupted a Euro 2012 press conference yesterday to lead the tributes to him.

Said Roy: “Everyone at the FA would like to pass on our deepest condolences to the family of Danny Fullbrook who sadly died during the night after bravely fighting his illness.

“I know that many of you in the room were big colleagues of his and respected him for the excellent journalist that he was.”

Steven said he had got to know Danny quite well over the years and also wanted to pass on his condolences.

“He was a very nice guy, very genuine,” he added.

Tabloid colleagues have also suspended traditional rivalries to join the tributes.

Close friend Shaun Custis, of The Sun said: “In a strange way, it’s kind of fitting the news of Danny’s death should come during a tournament.

“Danny was in his element in that environment. He would be organising us all, telling us what stories we should be doing, sorting out a restaurant, making sure we were all in it together.

“When I say the world’s a quieter place today, it’s meant with real affection. That was Danny, absolutely full of life and it’s a tragedy we’ll never be in his company again because he was one of the warmest, funniest, noisiest blokes it’s been my privilege to call a friend.”

The Star’s Brian Woolnough wrote in the paper: “Football journalism has lost a star and a good friend. Frank and Fearless, we called him, and that’s how Danny was right to the end.

“His attitude to life was always to have fun and none of us who knew him and worked with him, will forget his love of entertaining. Being at the centre of things, holding court, telling us he was right and that we knew nothing.

“It didn’t matter whether you were Frank Lampard or a junior reporter, Danny would put you right. A smile, of course, accompanied the banter.

“Players and managers liked him because Danny could be trusted, a must-have quality in the cut throat world of football reporting.”

Danny’s funeral will take place at Mortlake Crematorium next Monday, 25 June, at 4pm.

The full tribute on the Football Writers’ Association website can be read here.

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  • June 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I feel very deflated today. Danny was the Hull City reporter at the Hull Daily Mail when I first worked with him, less than two decades ago.
    I feel privileged to have worked alongside you, Danny, and thank you for inspiring me in my own future career. My condolences to your family – you truly were a ‘great’ in the media world.
    If anyone else was there, I will always remember the ‘polite’ ticking off he gave a junior reporter who had come to work wearing a Daffy Duck tie and he told him that Hull Stingrays (the ice hockey team) had just signed some crack-shot Russian superstar and he was to get to Leeds & Bradford airport immediately to greet him – wearing THAT tie! The message, I guess, being ‘you never know what life throws at you, so be prepared’ – takes on a whole new meaning now. Rest in peace, Danny.

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