Final farewell to EDP sports journalist

Figures from the world of Norfolk sport today said farewell to EDP journalist Keith Peel. More than 100 mourners from the worlds of local cricket and football, as well as reporting colleagues past and present, celebrated the life of the 58-year-old who died suddenly earlier this month.

Figures from the world of Norfolk sport today said farewell to EDP journalist Keith Peel.

More than 100 mourners from the worlds of local cricket and football, as well as reporting colleagues past and present, celebrated the life of the 58-year-old who died suddenly earlier this month.

A simple and moving humanist service at St Faiths crematorium recalled a lifelong dedication to sport which began as a youngster watching his father playing cricket and was to be followed by a 39-year career on the EDP including 13 years as sports editor.

John Hemsley, from the British Humanist Association, who conducted the service, said the journalist would have been both bemused and amused by the fact that he was regarded as an oracle when it came to sporting knowledge.


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“Keith himself would have been incredulous because he didn't realise how popular and respected he was,” he said.

EDP editor Peter Franzen, said he was an old-style journalist, who could be acerbic at times, but held the respect of colleagues in the newsroom.

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“It wasn't just his attention to detail and the passion to get it right,” he said. “Like so many of those journalists of yesteryear he built up an enormous number of contacts and friends in the sporting world. His contacts book must have been bursting as the seams.

“To say Keith was devoted to his job is an understatement. The volume of work that he ploughed through was legendary.

“Keith's passing was a terrible shock to us all in the newsroom. And it is still hard to believe that Mr Local Cricket and Mr Local Football is not around anymore.

A quiet man, former colleagues recalled how even as junior reporter starting out his dedication and commitment to producing high quality coverage shone through and there was an inner determination to rise to the top of his profession.

And ex-Norwich City footballer Duncan Forbes, paid tribute to his professionalism and knowledge of the job.

“He was a lovely chap and a good man” he said. “I came to Norwich from Colchester and somebody asked me to write a newspaper column and Keith used to help me with that. His knowledge of sport was amazing.”

Your tributes to Keith Peel at www.edp24.co.uk/sport

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