Trevor Smith, left, rose from the ranks of copy boy at the Ilford Recorder to work on its newsdesk, before being given his dream job covering West Ham United.
His greatest joy was sharing in the World Cup glory of club captain Bobby Moore, who skippered England to victory in 1966.
During his time covering sport, Trevor also became friends with West Ham icons such as Billy Bonds and goalkeeper Phil Parkes.
Trevor was born in the East End of London but evacuated to the Berkshire countryside to escape the Blitz at the age of seven, later moving to Ilford.
He secured the West Ham reporter’s role when Recorder editor Basil Amps decided the weekly should cover the East London-based team, and Trevor soon enamoured himself to the officials and players at the club.
He retired in 1999 to begin a new life in Tunisia with wife Sue but continued to write a Memory Lane column for the Recorder, regaling readers with tales of his childhood on the patch.
Current Recorder editor Chris Carter, who worked with him for nearly 20 years at the Archant London title, said: “Trevor was always a fount of all local knowledge for me and I valued him as a colleague and was proud to call him a friend.
“He was passionate about the job and was the archetypal old school local journalist, who knew instinctively what our readers were interested in. He will be sorely missed.”
Trevor, who is survived by Sue and passed away after a short illness, will be buried in a French cemetery in Tunisia.