South East Wales

Peter Corrigan: Welsh sports journalist dies after illness

Peter Corrigan Image copyright Family photos

Highly-respected sports journalist Peter Corrigan has died aged 80.

The former Sun and Daily Mail writer and sports editor for the Observer had been suffering from oesophagus cancer.

Mr Corrigan died on Thursday at a hospice in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, surrounded by his family, hours after watching his beloved Wales play England in Euro 2016.

His brother Chris, 69, said: "He could make you laugh in print, which not many people could do."

He added: "In every day life, he made people laugh - that's why he was so popular and that's how we'll remember him.

"Right up to the end, he always had a smile for the nurses."

Mr Corrigan was born and brought up in Roath Park, Cardiff, and had two brothers; Chris and Terry, 73, as well as son James and daughter Sally.

Image copyright James Corrigan/Twitter
Image caption James Corrigan tweeted this after Wales beat Slovakia 2-1 in their opening Euro 2016 fixture

James Corrigan recently tweeted: "Just watched Wales win with my father in the hospice. At the whistle he said 'worth the wait' and went back to sleep. A lovely lovely moment."

Mr Corrigan co-wrote the autobiography of ex-Wales rugby star Jonathan Davies.

Mr Davies said: "Lost a very good friend today, RIP Peter Corrigan. Thank you for everything you did for me. I'll miss you."

He was also president of Glamorganshire Golf Club and was teaching his eight-year-old grandson Paddy how to play the sport he loved.

The club said: "The captains, officers and members of the club would like to extend their sympathy to Peter's family."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chris Corrigan said his brother was very proud of an exclusive he got from John Charles after meeting him on a beach in Italy

Mr Corrigan started his career at the South Wales Echo as a messenger when he was 16, working his way up before moving to London where he became a football writer for the Daily Herald.

He later moved on to cover golf and, after leaving the Observer in 1993, was appointed chief sports columnist for the Independent on Sunday and wrote The Hacker column, which he also published online.

Mr Corrigan said one story his brother was delighted with came when he bumped into Wales, Leeds United and Juventus legend John Charles on a beach while on holiday in Italy in the early 1960s.

"He said 'how you doing, Charlo?' and he said 'I'll give you an exclusive, I'm going back to Leeds.' It was a scoop he was very proud of."

Former editor of the Independent, Simon Kelner, said: "The world has lost a great man. Peter Corrigan, my friend, my mentor, died last night. He truly had bags of swank."

Ian Prior, the Guardian and Observer's current head of sport, tweeted: "RIP Peter Corrigan, former Observer sports ed. A wonderful writer, editor, and mentor to generations of journalists."

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