THE FWA is sad to report that one of our most revered members Bob Cass has passed away.

Bob finally succumbed after a long fight against cancer on Thursday November 24th, surrounded by his family.

Bob was a former chairman of the FWA, a life-member and one of the finest journalists in its history, primarily with the Sun and the Mail on Sunday.

Bob Cass

Here is a tribute from his good friend and fellow FWA stalwart Jim Mossop:

To know Robert Stanley Cass was one of life’s privileges.

He was a champion; a true friend of the human race. As a gatherer of football news stories he was unsurpassed. His contacts were from every corner of the football world.  He was a journalist you could trust with your life and people knew that as soon as they met him. The trust was unspoken.

If you saw the words “Exclusive…by Bob Cass” you knew instantly there was true substance in what you were reading. Football folk loved him. He had humour, compassion and knowledge.

You could be playing golf with him in La Manga, Spain, where we had many a happy trip and his mobile would ring. When we told him to switch it off he would tell you that it was Fergie, Harry Redknapp, Sam Allardyce or any one of the old game’s luminaries.

They loved him because they trusted him implicitly and such relationships  were forged long before Google and protective Press Officers got their grip on the game. Bob was ‘old school’ and it worked.

Times spent in his company were magical. He had an amazing memory for jokes and songs. After one convivial night at the Carton House Golf Resort where everyone had a song and a young Scottish journalist played the spoons, Bob was still full of the fun of it on the first tee the following morning and gave us a full solo renditions of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” at 8am.

Bob was a product of Darlington Grammar School. He joined the local paper, the Northern Echo, which was owned by Westminster Press in London. That’s where I first met him at one of Westminster Press’s twice yearly weekend schools. He was riotous fun then but he was sharpening the skills that made him such an outstanding contributor to The Sun and then Mail on Sunday.

He also an immensely proud family man and loved to have his lovely wife, Janet, and their three children Alison, Jennifer and Simon, around him at Christmas and holiday times. He was proud of their achievements.They were with him when he died at his home in Durham, ravaged by the cancer that he had fought so hard to try to defeat.

There was no edge to Bob. I recall inviting him to my house when he was in the Altrincham area and we were having barbecued salmon with a mango salsa. The salsa intrigued him at first and then he said, as only Bob could: “Do you know, my grandad wouldn’t go to work without his mango salsa.”

When he wasn’t working, which was rare, he loved to play golf at Durham City Golf Club where he was captain a few years ago. He was a determined golfer with intense levels of concentration. Then, at the 19th hole, he was the embodiment of relaxation.

All the time, his mind would be ticking over with thoughts of future stories,  He had a couple of spats with Sir Alex Ferguson but they were soon resolved. They had a mutual respect for each other.

We will miss him, hacks and football people alike. It may sound trite to say there will ever be another Bob Cass. It’s not. Bob’s name will always stand revered inside and outside of the beautiful game.”



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    November 24, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Uncle Bob – I will always remember your laugh, your joke telling, your story telling and the most importantly the memories you gave me that have lasted a lifetime for me – from you introducing me to Sir Bobby Charlton when I was 8, taking me to games, inside the dressing rooms, Brian Clough… tickets to to see Rod Stewart on and on and on… You are and always will be my favorite Uncle love you RIP – say hi to my Mom for me have a laugh, tell some jokes… I am pursuing getting your book published it will happen. Love your little (naughty) nephew Tim XoXoXo

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    Suzy and Valerie Bebbington

    November 24, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Dear Simon and Family
    Thinking of you all and very sad at your loss,
    Suzy and Valerie.

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    Barry Emmerson

    November 25, 2016 at 12:18 am

    I have known Bob for many years particularly through following Sunderland.Always interested in talking about football and always happy to listen my thoughts on my team not just his own.I have spent many hours in Bob’s company and he was a smashing fella full of fun and good craic.RIP Bob.

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    Barry dunn

    November 25, 2016 at 12:24 am

    I am so proud to have known cass , told it as he seen it pleasure to have sat in many of his company chinwags rip dunny

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    Doug Weatherall

    November 25, 2016 at 7:29 am

    I’d known Bob since his first days as a Northern Echo junior in the Darlington Press Box. As he sub-edited at the Mirror North-East-based staff man Charlie Summerbell would complain about Bob’s nagging for more to be written about his beloved Darlington FC.
    On Bob’s return to the North-East we became great friends and colleagues/rivals. On European trips with Newcastle and Sunderland we’d room together even though he’d whinge about my snoring.
    He, the late Vince Wilson (Sunday Mirror) and I would entertain Newcastle United directors as The Batchelors. Mind you, only Bob knew all the words…
    Bob wasn’t the best of organisers. Hence he landed in Budapest for the Sunday Sun without a Press ticket for the second leg of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final. Newcastle manager Joe Harvey heard of his plight and said, “Sit beside me on the bench.” So Bob had a terrific exclusive line for his report of Newcastle’s win over Ujpest Dozsa.
    I still say, though, Bob could have missed his vocation. He was a terrific newspaperman, but he could have earned a fortune as a full-time stand-up comic. In my view, he was always funnier than even the paid comedians at our FWA North-East dinners. It had been Bob’s idea to form an FWA North-East branch. So I had the privilege as chairman to introduce at our inaugural get-together wonderful names like Raich’s Carter, Wilf Mannion and Jackie Milburn.
    At family level my late wife, Edna, and I had other memorable times with the Casses and and Wilsons.
    I will miss Bob a lot.

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    Ted Corbett

    November 25, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Bob Cass and I sat in one corner of the sport subs table at the Mirror office in Manchester 50 years ago and even then Bob was famous for his one-liners. I didn’t see him for a few years before we met up at Middlesbrough.” Is so-and-so any good?” I asked, pointing to an embryo international. “Aye, he’s all right, but,” dramatic pause. “If he was any braver you be able to classify him as a coward.” Ted Corbett.

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    Tim Taylor

    November 26, 2016 at 10:47 am

    So much fun, such a huge inspiration to sports writers everywhere. Bob’s passing reminds me of the late Joe Melling, who helped me a lot and thought the world of Bob as did, and do, many many others. There will never be another will be another Cassy. RIP Bob, we’ll all miss you.

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    eric brown

    November 27, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    An hour in Bob’s company was equivalent to a week in anyone else’s. A truly entertaining and uplifting personality. RIP and sympathies to Simon and all the family.
    Eric Brown

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