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Sports editor 'at heart of his town' dies aged 80

Brian CoppA “fine, old-fashioned newspaperman” and  former daily newspaper sports editor has died aged 80.

Tributes have been paid to Brian Copp, who held the position at the Dorset Echo, the newspaper where he began his career in the 1950s.

Brian, pictured left, also worked on the Weymouth Southern Times and Plymouth’s Western Morning News, but returned to the Echo in 1967 as a senior sports reporter, mainly covering athletics and his beloved Weymouth Football Club.

Brian passed away at Dorset County Hospital last week, surrounded by his family, following a short illness.

Away from journalism he was also an athletics enthusiast, table tennis fan, junior boxer, skittles player and an award-winning gardener.

Ian Ridley, national newspaper sports journalist and former Weymouth FC chairman, said: “He was unfailingly good natured but with the professional’s knowledge of the right questions to ask.

“He was a fine, old-fashioned newspaperman and the community was lucky to have him.

“My condolences to his family, who can be proud of a life well-lived at the heart of his town.”

Brian is survived by Beryl, his wife of 55 years; his three children Linda, Joanna and David; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Said Linda: “He covered everything he loved. He loved sport so being a sports reporter was perfect for him and I think because he did so much in the local sporting community, and put in a lot of time and effort, he was well loved.

“He was my special dad. We have only got happy memories of him, he was loved so much and he will be missed.”

Brian’s funeral is at Weymouth Crematorium on Tuesday 3 February at 2.30pm.