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Sports journalist who started at regional daily dies at 61

A former regional daily journalist who went onto work on Fleet Street for more than 20 years has died from heart disease at the age of 61.

Steve Thomson, left, whose career spanned 35 years, worked on the sports desk of the Oxford Mail and Reading Evening Post covering Reading FC before joining the Press Association.

He then embarked on a long career at both the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, for which he covered football matches around the country for more than two decades.

A keen sportsman, he played soccer for Chazey Heath in the Reading Sunday League for many years and was a passionate Manchester United fan.

Daily Telegraph colleague Huw Turbervill described ‘Tommo’ as a very careful, meticulous sub-editor.

“He also wrote very good football reports and was the Sunday Telegraph pools tipster,” he told the Sports Journalists’ Association website.

“He could play; a fine winger, who played his last game with us at Telegraph five-a-side as recently as three years ago. Although he was a passionate Manchester United fan, he liked his sport in general – he was a nuggety batsman – and was a fine, fun colleague.”

Steve Latter, head of Telegraph production (sport), added: “Steve was a highly valued member of the team at Telegraph Sport. He was a hard-working, talented and meticulous journalist with an encyclopedic knowledge of football in particular.

“He was very much a team player, particularly when it came to turning out for the Telegraph football side in various ‘friendlies’.

“He was a humble person, somewhat shy, but with strong opinions and passions. And he was always great company when we could find our way to the pub for a break.

“He was always a pleasure to work with and will be sorely missed by all the team.”

Following an interest in animals, he also wrote features about birdlife of the Scottish Highlands, Andalucia, Trinidad and Tobago and Israel, which were published in Outdoor magazine and Bird Watching.

He also edited the newsletter of Reading Rambling Club and was an active member of his Christian community at St Michael’s Church in Spencers Wood, near Reading, where he lived.

Until his death he continued to work as a journalist, freelancing as a sub-editor for the Daily Telegraph once a week.

Adam Sills, the acting head of sport at the Telegraph, added: “Steve was a respected and valued member of our team for many years and will be missed by everybody who worked with him.

“His dedication to his job could not be faulted while he was a popular character with all his colleagues.”

Steve, who lived alone, is survived by his brothers Andrew and Paul, sisters Gillian, Christine and Mary, and six nephews and four nieces.


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  • February 12, 2014 at 8:40 am

    RIP Tommo. Lovely guy who will be so fondly remembered here in Reading.

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  • February 12, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Tommo will also be fondly remembered by all us guys who worked alongside him on the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs over the past couple of decades.

    “Football crazy, football daft” is a phrase that could have easily been applied to him – but then, growing up within a stone’s throw of Old Trafford during the 1960s, how could he not be?

    Tommo once told me that nothing in football could compare to having Best, Law and Charlton etc etc playing virtually in your own backyard.

    Steve Latter gives a lovely tribute to a lovely guy – one of the best and nicest blokes I ever met on Fleet Street…

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