THE Shrimps were saddened to hear about the death of former Morecambe Visitor reporter John Morrell this week.
John, was who 78, was an outstanding journalist with a career lasting 45 years, whose family forged a long and successful association with Morecambe’s Central Pier. John, who joined The Visitor as a junior reporter in 1954, went on to work for the Lancashire Evening Post at Preston for almost 30 years, specialising in sport, entertainment and feature writing.
John covered both Morecambe Football Club and Morecambe Cricket Club matches and his reports could prove controversial – on one occasion he was banned from Mossley Town’s ground after a particularly hard-hitting account of a match against the Shrimps!
The sports pages reflected his flair and innovation - including the introduction of markings for players’ performances and player-of-the-year awards.
Morecambe Football Club director Rod Taylor said: “John’s reporting in The Visitor of Morecambe FC games remain legendary; reading his accounts brought a game to life. A proper journalist!”
In 1970, he moved to the Lancashire Evening Post, joining the sports desk, following mainly Blackburn Rovers but also covering national and international fixtures. He ghosted weekly columns for Sir Tom Finney and Sir Bobby Charlton, becoming friends with both soccer legends.
He leaves his wife, Enid, three children, Kim, Nick and Sarah (an elder son, Dean, died in 1990 following a road accident), nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.