Alan Hoby

By Barry Newcombe
Alan Hoby, the former chief sportswriter at the Sunday Express, died in a residential home in Hove last week. He was 94.

Hoby was the voice of Sunday Express sport for 37 years, joining in 1949 and retiring in 1986 with a record which included seven Olympic Games, six World Cups and 31 Wimbledon championships. Much of his work was produced on a battered but much loved portable typewriiter.

Hoby was a junior reporter at the Richmond and Twickenham Times and later wrote for The People before moving on to the Express group, where much of his work coincided with the reign of editor John Junor.

Hoby was a friend to many of the people he wrote about, especially Sir Stanley Matthews and Sir Matt Busby. He dictated much of his work and was renowned for the quality and timing of his ad lib pieces, with Junor often insisting that the first edition ad lib was good enough to go through the print run unaltered.

Hoby served in the Royal Marines in the Second World War and received an OBE for services to journalism in 1986.

Phil Hall, former editor of the News of the World, said he wanted he get into journalism because he read Hoby’s words as a boy. “He engendered excellence and made it all so glamourous,” Hall said.

Hoby’s passion was jazz, and when travelling for work, he would often seek out the best in music in jazz clubs around the world. His autobiography, One Crowded Hour , can still be found.

Further details about funeral arrangements will be posted as soon as available: click here.