GRANVILLE BECKETT, the Examiner's long-serving athletics correspondent and great ambassador for the sport, has died aged 69.
Mr Beckett, of Dalton, retired in 2001 from writing about the sport he had given his life to, after completing 43 years' service.
In addition to the Examiner, he also worked as a freelance correspondent for the Yorkshire Post, Sheffield Star, Halifax Courier, Yorkshire Evening Press in York and Bradford Telegraph and Argus.
At the height of his writing, he compiled 40 sports stories a week, mostly on athletics and his other passion, boxing.
He collected 27 years worth of editions of Boxing News, the sport's national magazine, along with a prized selection of Athletics Weekly, dating back 55 years.
A keen Town fan, Mr Beckett was also a regular follower of the Yorkshire county cricket side. He was a major figure for half a century with Longwood Harriers athletics club.
In 1952 he was invited to join Longwood with Derek Ibbotson, who went on to hold the world mile record and win an Olympic bronze medal.
Mr Beckett became Longwood secretary, a position he held for 23 years, before becoming West Yorkshire District Secretary for 10 years and, later, working for five years as North of England secretary.
He gave up these key administrative positions only on health grounds in 1997.
In fact, almost precisely a year ago, Mr Beckett was presented with a cut glass vase at Longwood's Christmas Handicap event to mark his outstanding 50 years' membership of the club.
In his capacity as general secretary, Mr Beckett helped steer through the amalgamation between the Northern men's and women's governing bodies as they had been autonomous until 1992.
He was honoured by being made president of the Longwood club, County and North of England.
In 1970 he was invited to become a member of the British Athletics Writers Association.
Mr Beckett established the Longwood 10-mile road race more than 40 years ago and staged Yorkshire's first floodlit athletics meeting at Leeds Road Playing Fields in 1963.
In addition, he formed the West Yorkshire League in 1968 and the Yorkshire Road Relay Championships in 1981, both of which are still going strong.
After announcing his retirement in an interview with sportswriter Linzi Nicholson three years ago, Mr Beckett revealed the most satisfying race he had staged (and there had been more than 100) was The Guardian Angels five-mile event for the Heart of Huddersfield Appeal.
Mr Beckett suffered a heart attack in February 1997 and formed a great bond with cardiologist Dr Bob Stevenson, a member of Holmfirth Harriers, whom Mr Beckett described as `the man who saved my life.'
He leaves a widow, Pat, daughter Elizabeth, son Graham, and three grandsons, Benjamin, Jacob and Samuel.