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‘Legendary’ sports journalist dies aged 74

Dick DonnellyA “legendary” sports journalist who began his career in the regional press has died aged 74.

Tributes have been paid to Dick Donnelly, pictured left, described as one of Scottish football’s most “distinctive and authoritative voices”.

Dick, who began his career working for The Courier in Dundee, was best known for covering the city’s two football clubs for both the regional and national press.

Prior to journalism, he had played Scottish league football in the 1960s for East Fife, Brechin City and Arbroath, and was a hot metal worked in the case room at DC Thomson’s Bank sTreet office.

His journalistic breakthrough came when he was asked to write match reports for The Courier, later also commentating for Radio Tay.

Dick then went full-time as a football writer on The People’s Journal, before moving to the Sunday Express to cover a sporting patch stretching from Aberdeen to Edinburgh.

He became a freelance reporter based in Dundee in the early 1970s, providing daily updates and match reports to most of the national papers.

Courier columnist Jim Spence said: “Dick covered every big game in the city for decades and his gravely tones became the voice of authority in Dundee when it came to football. He was a really popular figure and a true gentleman of our profession.”

Tom Duthie, of the Dundee Evening Telegraph, added: “I’ve known Dick since the 1980s was lucky enough to be able to call him a friend as well as a colleague and like so many others in our business I will always be grateful for the help and advice he gave me down the years.

“Through his work at Radio Tay and Clyde millions knew him as a football pundit, but those of us who worked alongside him also knew what a talented newspaperman he was and through reporting as a freelance he never lost his love of the written word.

“Even more than his journalistic ability, I will remember him as a great mate and a very generous man.”

Dick passed away on Thursday after fighting cancer.