Murder ruled out after sports reporter’s death

Police are no longer treating as suspicious the death of the deputy sports editor of the South London Press, Rajbir Johal, who was found at his Tooting home on Monday.

An initial post mortem examination had proved inconclusive.

Johal, 34, had joined the South London Press from the Kentish Times in 1999, and he covered Charlton Athletic, Surrey county cricket and boxing for the bi-weekly paper for almost eight years.

“At just 34 years old, Raj had his whole life ahead of him. He was a very clever young man who happened to be an exceptionally talented journalist,” Hannah Walker, the paper’s editor, wrote on her blog.

“His role as our deputy sports editor meant he had one of the best jobs at the South London Press, actually he probably had one of the best jobs anywhere.

“As he told me on many occasions, on the quiet and in his cheeky fashion, ‘Hannah I could work anywhere, I could leave tomorrow, but I love it here, I am doing what I like.’ Not only was he naturally talented – but he had charisma.”

Charlton chief executive Peter Varney has paid tribute on the club’s website.

He said: “I was shocked to hear of the death of Raj, with whom I enjoyed a good working relationship over many years. His coverage of our club was always informative and he was hard working and dedicated in his approach to his job.

“He will be sadly missed by all his many friends at the club, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family at this time.”