Brian Woolnough, the chief sports writer of the Daily Star, has died after a long struggle against bowel cancer.
The 63-year-old was also a well-known face on television, hosting Sky Sports' Sunday Supplement from 2007 after previously being the presenter of Hold the Back Page from 1994.
Woolnough began his career on The Esher News in Surrey, moved to the Evening Post in Hemel Hempstead before joining The Sun, where he worked for 27 years, ending up as chief football writer. He moved to the Daily Star in 2001.
Tributes instantly poured in for Woolnough on Twitter, as well as from Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
He said: 'I liked him. He was a good man, Brian. He was a good journalist and a good personality.
'He asked good questions, sometimes too good! It's very sad and my thoughts are with his family at this time.'
On Twitter, Blatter wrote: 'Sorry to hear of loss of Brian Woolnough. We will miss him in football and at the World Cup especially.'
Sportsmail's chief football correspondent Matt Lawton wrote: 'Desperately sad to hear that Brian Woolnough has passed away. A Fleet Street legend and top, top man. Thoughts with his family.'
BBC's Match of the Day host Gary Lineker added: 'Very sorry to hear that Brian Woolnough has passed away. One of football's finest journalists. #RIPWooly'.
Everton captain Phil Neville wrote: 'Sad to hear the death of Brian Woolnough - thoughts are with his family RIP'.
Woolnough leaves a wife, Linda, and three children.
Daily Star editor Dawn Neesom said: 'Brian will be missed by everyone at the Daily Star. He was a brilliant sports writer, a huge character and above all a really nice bloke.
'Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Linda, and family.'
Daily Star sports editor Howard Wheatcroft said: 'Brian was the doyen of his generation of sports journalists, and had been the senior figure in football journalism for a long, long time.
'To my mind he also paved the way for journalists being called upon as pundits.
'When the era of rolling sports news began, such was his standing that he was in demand from virtually day one - and up until the end he was still the best of the lot.
'He was a big man in many ways, but he was never arrogant and had an incredible appetite for hard work.'
It is only three months since the death of the Daily Star's chief football writer Danny Fullbrook at the age of 40, also from cancer.
Source: Daily Mail