Former Express sports writer Chris Hilton has died

Chris Hilton, the former sportswriter with the Daily Express, has died.

Hilton, the author of more than 60 books, many of them on motor sport, was on a working visit to Germany when he died in Berlin at the weekend. He was 65.

Hilton had begun his career in journalism at The Journal in Newcastle, and then worked at the Express‘s offices in Manchester before moving to London in the mid-1970s when recruited by then sports editor Ken Lawrence to cover Formula 1.

Hilton was a key member of the sports desk editing staff, as well as covering ice skating for the paper during the period when Torvill and Dean were winning world and Olympic ice dance titles.

For the past two decades after leaving the Express, Hilton has freelanced, especially in F1 and writing his books, including biographies of Ayrton Senna, James Hunt and Michael Schumacher, as well as a novel. As recently as last month, his latest book, about F1 team leader Ross Brawn, was published.

Chris Hilton leaves a wife, Jean, and daughter.

Details of the funeral arrangements will be posted on as soon as they become available.

7 thoughts on “Former Express sports writer Chris Hilton has died

  1. Christopher was a prolific author of beautifully written and well-researched books, and a sportswriter of the highest quality and standards.

    He followed me on to the Express staff back in the Seventies, and so my admiration for his work was from afar. Recently, I was happy to act as go-between with him and a publisher for one of his creative ideas, and he confessed I had been his role model in the way I tunnelled my way out of Fleet Street to freelance. I responded: “Don’t blame me …”

    His interests went far beyond the narrow confines of sport, and I highly recommend his story of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which he tells through the eyes of the hundreds of Germans he interviewed from both the East and West.

    Whenever you read a Christopher Hilton piece, you knew you were in the safe hands of a writer who knew his subject.

    He has gone all too early and will be sadly missed and warmly remembered.

  2. I knew Chris at the Express but didn’t really come across him for another 20 years when he wondered if my publishing firm would like to bring out a book on George Best he was planning to write with Ian Cole, another former Express staff man and a former chairman of the SJA.
    I agreed because I knew they would both produce highly professional and original work and the result was ‘Memories of George Best’. Malcolm Brodie, of the Belfast Telegraph, said it was the best Best book he’d read and he ought to know.
    Chris wrote many other books, about sport and ‘real’ life and he will be sadly missed.

  3. Chris was not a man I knew that well but whose work I really admired. He knew his subjects and wrote with clarity and good sense. Another reminder of the halcyon days when the Daily Express was an immense heavyweight in Fleet Street.

  4. My career coincided with Chris’ in the ’80’s and early ’90’s, mostly through winter sport. He was huge fun to be around, and very warm company. Although I only knew him a little, he would make you feel like a long lost friend whenever you chanced across him in some far-flung press room. Hugely engaging and highly intelligent, he naturally had his finger on the pulse of The Story….and he would argue his point of view until late in the night if required. His brilliance is proven in his legacy of prolific and excellent bookwriting. Sadly gone too soon, but he lived a life and left his mark.

  5. When I ran Breedon Books, I was the happy publisher of several of Christopher Hilton’s motor sport titles.
    A few years after I sold Breedon, I had a book entitled Hitler’s Olympics published by Pen & Sword. On almost the same day, Chris had a book entitled Hitler’s Olympics published by Sutton. Well, it was the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Games.
    We were also almost exactly the same age.
    He was a master cratftsman …

  6. Chris was a “character” in the best sense of the word. An immensely talented writer, an entertaining companion and all-round decent bloke. I worked with him when he was on the sports desk of the Sunday Express in Manchester in the early 70s and met him frequently on assignments all over the world. Our old game has lost a treasure.

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