Tributes paid as Express hockey correspondent Graham Wilson dies aged 63
The following article on Graham is courtesy of the Daily Express.
TRIBUTES have been paid from across the world of hockey after the death of “the greatest journalist for the sport”, Graham Wilson.
“Wiz”, who worked for the Daily Express for more than 25 years, died on Saturday following a short illness. He was 63.
In December, his son Tom died in a freak accident during a hockey training session at the age of just 22.
The captain of Great Britain’s women, Kate Richardson-Walsh, said: “Devastated to hear that hockey journalist Graham Wilson has passed away two months after his son Tom. My heart goes out to the family.”
Her team-mate Alex Danson said: “Devastated to hear of the tragic passing of Graham Wilson, my thoughts are with his family at the time. Rest in Peace.”
And James Tindall, a member of the men’s Great Britain side which won the 2009 European Championships, said: “Thoughts with the Wilson family as first Tom and now Graham is unbelievable. He was the greatest journalist for the sport I have met.”
Graham with his son Tom who also sadly passed away last December
Tindall’s team-mate George Pinner added: “So incredibly sad to hear about Graham Wilson. Can’t imagine what his family are going through after recent tragic events.”
His Express Sport colleagues also paid tribute to “a person who you wanted to be around because he always made you feel welcome, belonging” and who was “always warm, always genuine, meaning he had no enemies among contacts and colleagues, who were all equally friends to him”.
As the chairman of the Hockey Writers’ Club and Daily Express hockey correspondent, he enjoyed writing about the sport almost as much as he did playing it, the highlight being covering the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Graham’s good friend colleague Andrew Elliott said: “I can’t recall him ever coming into work morose or miserable. You would struggle to find a more joyous, generous and humorous man.
“Wiz had three great loves in his life – his family, hockey and West Ham. Bizarre conspiracy theories, garden sheds and Guinness pushed hard to make it on to this list.
Great Britain hockey team paying their respects to Wilson by performing a minute's silence
“He was married to the wonderful Lisa for 23 years and was an incredibly proud father of Tom and Pippa. The four of them shared a passion for hockey and Wiz was involved with his beloved Havering Hockey Club for more than 40 years.
“You could not ask for a more dedicated or talented journalist. The day the 7/7 bombs hit London, the sports desk had several calls from people saying they did not think they could make it in with all the travel chaos and genuine fear.
“However, only one person called who was not down to work that day to say that, if they were needed, they would somehow make it in. That was Wiz.
“Several of his catchphrases are enshrined in Express folklore – “I’m editing the whole paper!”, “Have you brought your wallet tonight?”, “Is it my round again?” Always said in a light-hearted manner and with a wide grin.
“It is an impossible task to do justice to what a truly good man, father, husband and friend Wiz was. He’ll be sorely missed by all who knew him.”
The funeral for Graham Wilson will be on Friday March 11 at St Andrew’s Church, 222 High Street, Hornchurch RM12 6QP, at 2pm followed by the wake at Havering Hockey Club, Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch, RM11 1ET, at 3pm.
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