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Tributes to acclaimed sports writer James Lawton


James Lawton, the former chief sports writer of The Independent, has died aged 75.

Born in Flintshire, Lawton began his career at the Flintshire Leader in 1959 and spent 4 years at the paper, before joining the Daily Telegraph as a sports sub-editor.

The award-winning journalist spent 27 years at the Daily Express and 8 years as the chief sports columnist on Canadian paper, Vancouver Sun.

“James Lawton, one of Great Britain’s greatest sportswriters and a great mate who spent a few years with the Vancouver Sun, has died. So many memories traveling with him, especially at the World Cup in France and Olympics in Barcelona and Atlanta,” wrote Canadian sports columnist, Terry Jones.

He joined The Independent in 2000, before a cost-cutting drive saw 27 job losses, including his own in 2013.

Until his death, he had been a columnist for the Irish Independent and had been due to file a piece on Paul Pogba for tomorrow’s edition.

Lawton won numerous awards during his career, not least SJA Sports Journalist of the Year.

Last night, Jeff Powell, Daily Mail’s sports writer paid tribute to him:

“Very sad to have to report that the great James Lawton has died suddenly today at his retirement haven in Italy. Great sports writer, great friend, great companion on the road. Funeral arrangements to come. RIP Jim”

Football writer, Hector Nunns wrote on Twitter:

“Very sorry to read the sad news about James Lawton. In the same way that footballers know who is the best at their club, fellow sportswriters know a great when they read one and he was a Cantona.”

Matt Lawton, chief sports writer of the Mail added:

“Lot of the guys sharing their Jim Lawton stories here in Paris. My favourite: getting a call from Sean Connery on day of 2006 WC final in Berlin to tell him how much he’d enjoyed his coverage. A pat on the back from James Bond takes some beating.”

Piers Morgan said he was “a wonderful elegant, evocative sportswriter and a true Fleet Street great.”

Gary Lineker added: “Very sad to hear of the passing of James Lawton. He was without question one of the greatest sportswriters of our time, and a fine man too.”

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