John Dee, former snooker correspondent for The Daily Telegraph, has died after a short illness at the age of 82.
Dee was part of the circuit as the sport boomed in the 1980s, working as an official statistician for the governing body and the BBC. He received an award for his services to the sport in 2001.
He was known as ‘Henry’ and at the Wolverhampton Express and Star in the 1960s he also had the best bingo caller’s voice at the paper’s traditional pre-edition breakfast.
Two years ago he published Dee Tales, a book packed with stories about his career covering football and snooker. He could also claim to have started a winning streak for the late Alex Higgins with whom he shared a house at one point.
Higgins was going through an unexplained slump and blamed it on a lost favourite cue.
“I’ve got that cue in my loft,” Henry’ told pals. It was duly retrieved, handed back to the Hurricane, and usual service was resumed.
Proceeds from the book went to a fund set up to care for one of his five granddaughters who suffered from a rare neuro-muscular condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Dee started his journalistic career on weekly papers in the West Midlands and covered Wolves for the Express and Star. The football club remained his passion, along with Gloucester rugby.
JOHN DEE 😢 WTD
— MARK WILLIAMS M.B.E (@markwil147) July 28, 2019
He still kept in touch with the world of snooker, travelling to Thailand each year, and was editor of Cue World.
Three-time world champion Mark Williams said: “I met John when I first came on to the circuit and he was a great friend for many years. He was one of the big characters backstage and I always enjoyed sitting in the press room chatting.
“We had some very funny moments and the trips overseas were always more enjoyable when John was there. It’s a sad day for his family and all of the players who knew him.”
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