By Ian Cole
Anyone who has worked for the Daily Express in the decades after the Second World War cannot fail to be saddened by the death of Norman Dixon, at the grand old age of 90.
Saddened, yes, but also uplifted. Norman was a true legend of Fleet Street.
The lad from Barrow-in-Furness rose to be deputy sports editor of the Express in its halcyon days on Fleet Street, before it decamped across the river and the rot of new technology set in.
Norman charmed us all with his enthusiasm for the business and his absolute total dedication to living every minute of every day to the full.
Dixon was playing golf at his beloved Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club until mysteriously, this autumn, he was struck down by a knee infection.
Norman Dixon didnâ€™t do sickies â€“ and couldnâ€™t understand anyone who did. So to find himself laid up in hospital would have been, to Norman, like being trapped in the trenches by the Germans. Which, of course, he had been, and he never stopped telling us so.
So it came as something of a relief to hear that the old boy had died suddenly, at home, and not, mercifully, had to endure a slow, lingering death.
Weâ€™ll all miss the Old Grey Squirrel. For his charm, his bonhomie, his endless stories of days gone by.