By Anton Rippon
A BBC Radio Sheffield sports presenter who was commentating at Hillsborough on the day that 96 football fans died has himself been found dead on the 22nd anniversary of the tragedy.
The body of Winton Cooper, 64, was found inside a flat in the picturesque Dorset village of Marnull, near Sturminster Newton, on Friday. It is believed that he had been stabbed.
His son, Joseph Cooper, 23, appeared at Weymouth magistrates’ court today charged with murder. He was remanded to appear at Winchester Crown Court on Wednesday.
Winton Cooper was a former print journalist with the Barnsley Chronicle and Huddersfield Examiner. On April 15, 1989, he was working for the BBC in the commentary box at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground alongside former Liverpool and England captain Emlyn Hughes when overcrowding at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest resulted in the worst stadium tragedy in British football history.
Speaking in 2009, his former boss at BBC Radio Sheffield, Robert Jackson, said that Cooper had not known the extent of the tragedy. “People were being laid out on the ground but he assumed they were injured because no-one was covering them with blankets at that stage,” Jackson said.
Cooper also hosted a weekly show on the station. One former colleague said: “We worked together quite a lot in the 1970s and 1980s, especially when we were doing the breakfast show. He was great fun.”
Another colleague, fellow presenter Peter Crabtree, once described Cooper as “one of the most memorable people” with whom he had worked.
Tony Aitchison, who also worked alongside Cooper in Sheffield, described as “a really nice chap”.
It is believed that Cooper, who left BBC Radio Sheffield about 15 years ago, had two other sons, Oliver and Edward.
UPCOMING SJA DATES
Mon Sep 12: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Contact Paul Trow for further details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – note the date in your diary now.
All details subject to alteration. Keep checking sportsjournalists.co.uk for updates