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Journalist thrown in bath after covering Cup final upset dies aged 78

bob-cassAn “esteemed” sports journalist once thrown into a communal bath at Wembley after covering an FA Cup final for a regional daily has died aged 78.

Tributes have been paid to Bob Cass, left, who worked for the Northern Echo before going on to a career in national newspapers.

Bob began his career covering his favourite football team Darlington FC for his hometown newspaper the Echo, and the club’s players and supporters held a minute’s silence in his memory before their game on Sunday.

However, it was an incident which took place while Bob was covering another club for the Echo that he later described as one of his “fondest footballing memories”.

Bob, who died on Thursday after a cancer battle, was present at the 1973 FA Cup final, in which underdogs Sunderland defeated Leeds United.

After the match, the club’s jubilant players threw him, fully-clothed, into their changing room’s communal bath in celebration.

His son Simon told the Echo: “He was respected as a journalist though as he always got the story – he was the envy of his colleagues as he earned the trust of so many sources and never broke their confidence.

“I have to say, as a family we’ve been totally overwhelmed by the outpouring of really nice feelings and memories.

“He always had to defend himself as a journalist after being accused of being a Newcastle fan by Sunderland supporters or a Sunderland fan by Newcastle supporters, but really, he was a Darlington fan.”

Echo editor Andy Richardson said: “Bob cut his teeth as a reporter at the Echo and throughout his career he stuck to the basic principles of journalism – build up good contacts and you will get good stories.

“He is an example to us all and will be greatly missed by the profession, the game of football, and of course by his family and friends. We pass on our deepest condolences to them.”