Daily Star Sports Editor Howard Wheatcroft pays tribute to the paper’s Chief Football Writer Danny Fullbrook, who passed away on Monday morning…
TWO days before the Star’s Euro 2012 pullout was due out I rang Danny and asked him for 25 words on the tournament and his last four.
Although he was very ill there was no problem because as far as we were both concerned it was business as usual. After two days I had heard nothing so decided to do the words and semi-finalists myself and put Danny’s name on it.
About an hour later the phone rang and it was Danny. I told him what I’d done. Big mistake because I was wrong, wrong, wrong.
I had hopelessly over-estimated how far England were going to go and tipped the wrong winners.
Danny put me right, as usual. You won’t be surprised to hear it wasn’t the first time we’d had that sort of conversation.
In many, many years as Danny’s sports news editor, deputy sports editor and then sports editor he’d put me right more times than I care to remember.
Amazingly he wasn’t always 100 per cent correct and sometimes I had to tell him that was the case.
Cue one of many disagreements. But one of Danny’s many great attributes was that he never, ever bore a grudge. We agreed to differ and carried on as colleagues, and more particularly, mates.
I could spend a long time listing Danny’s attributes as a journalist and what he bought to the paper.
This included his incredible, unflagging enthusiasm, his ability to get stories, an unfailing ability to hit deadlines and never being over-awed whatever the situation or people involved. He was the complete professional and what’s more he did his job with a big smile on his face.
He had a massive impact on the Star, and was undoubtedly destined to go on to even greater things.
But none of us are defined merely by the jobs we do as much as the person we are.
And Danny was one of the best, both as a son and even more so as a dad.
I’ll never forget that ‘Ello mate’ greeting from wherever he was in the world or as he breezed through the office door.
And I’ll never forget Danny.
Picture courtesy of the Daily Star.
England manager Roy Hodgson and captain Steven Gerrard paid tribute to Danny Fullbrook at Monday afternoon’s press conference: