Simon Greenberg dies after short illness at only 52

Lord Rothermere and Rupert Murdoch were among the mourners at the funeral of Simon Greenberg, who has died after a short illness at only 52.

Greenberg was chief of staff for England’s unsuccessful bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

He started in sports journalism at the Mail on Sunday where he broke the story of George Graham taking a bung while manager of Arsenal.

He went on to become sports editor of the Evening Standard in his 20s before shifting into the world of public relations. Chelsea made him their first director of communications where he was often seen with then manager Jose Mourinho.


In 2009 Greenberg left Chelsea to join England’s World Cup bid and, from there, joined News International in 2011 as director of corporate affairs at News International, thrusting him straight into the phone-hacking disgrace.

More recently he worked as head of international, business and corporate development oat The Athletic.

He was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease earlier this year and leaves wife Fran, son Sam and step children Coco and Suki.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck led tributes to Greenberg.

“We were deeply saddened to hear of Simon’s illness, and then devastated to learn of his passing,” he said.

“Simon’s time at the club covered a period of incredible growth and new success, and he thrived under the pressure the media attention provided. 

“Simon played a vitally important role and helped carry the club through those hectic times with enthusiasm and wit, just two of his many impressive characteristics that made him such a pleasure to work with and be around.”