Norman Dixon leaves Fleet St a quieter place

By Barry Newcombe
Norman Dixon, the former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express when it was one of the world’s most successful newspapers, was fondly remembered at his funeral service today for his devotion to the paper, his love of sport and especially flamboyant sport and flamboyant sportswriting.

Dixon had died earlier this month, at the age of 90.

Son of an engineer in Barrow-on-Furness and one of five brothers, Dixon first obtained a part-time job on the local newspaper. But he gave up the post to join the Royal Engineers at the start of the Second World War. He was injured in France while serving with the British Expeditionary Force and was held in a prison of war hospital for a number of years.

Dixon entered the world of national newspapers when he joined the Daily Express in Manchester and then moved on to Fleet Street where he served under 17 editors and three sports editors: Bob Findlay, John Morgan and Ken Lawrence.

David Emery, another Daily Express sports editor, fully chronicled the enthusiasm, colour and noise which Dixon brought to the sports desk – an enthusiasm matched in almost equal measure for fine wine and food in the many excellent restaurants to be found in the Fleet Street area that he knew intimately.

Emery said of Dixon’s passing: “It’s quieter certainly but it’s darker too. Norman’s generosity and kindness touched all who met him.”

Dixon’s other great love was golf – he was captain of the Press Golfing Society and a member at Royal Mid-Surrey GC where a champagne reception hosted by his only son, Barry, followed the funeral at Mortlake Crematorium.

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