Page last updated at 10:46 GMT, Tuesday, 19 August 2008 11:46 UK

Former BBC sports presenter dies

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Bob Humphrys is remembered

Former BBC Wales sports correspondent Bob Humphrys has died two months after he confirmed he had cancer.

Mr Humphrys, who was 56 and lived in Cardiff, passed away with his family at his bedside.

He had presented Wales Today's sports coverage for 20 years before taking early retirement this year.

His brother John Humphrys, presenter of Radio 4's Today programme, said: "He was a great journalist and a great man and we will all miss him so much."

Mr Humphrys, who was married with three children, revealed his illness in an article written for the Daily Mail newspaper in June.

Bob Humphrys
Bob Humphrys had worked at BBC Wales for 30 years

BBC Wales controller Menna Richards paid tribute to Mr Humphrys, who was told he had cancer in May..

She said he had made a "huge contribution to BBC Wales over many years in a wide range of programming".

"First as a current affairs journalist but above all as someone who got to the heart of the sporting world that is so important to Wales.

"He combined great knowledge and enthusiasm with humour and wit.

"Bob had an unmistakable and distinctive style that brought him a huge following throughout Wales."

Welsh Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones described Bob Humphrys as a "first class broadcaster who had the talent and personality to re-create the excitement and buzz of sporting events for hundreds of thousands of people".

Matthew Maynard, the former Glamorgan and England cricketer, and now Glamorgan cricket manager said the news had "hit him hard".

"It was through the cricket we first met and he loved the game and quite often we met up for a couple of beers at the Dynefor Arms," Mr Maynard said.

"Bob loved his job and and loved the people he was working with and obviously interviewing as well."

Former Wales and British Lions scrum-half Gareth Edwards remembered how he had enjoyed playing charity soccer alongside him and fellow Wales great Barry John.

"He loved those moments," he said. "He would say 'Go on Barry, give me a pass'. It didn't matter whether it was on the floor or over his head. He was so enthusiastic"

Bob Humphrys and Jamie Owen in 1997
Bob Humphrys and Jamie Owen worked together for a number of years

Edwards said Mr Humphrys' forte had been encapsulating so much sport from the weekend in his short Wales Today bulletins.

Jamie Owen, Bob Humphrys' BBC co-presenter for a number of years, said there was a "great chemistry" between them.

Owen said: "There was no rivalry. We were very good friends and I guess it showed on screen.

He also said Mr Humphrys had something very few other people have: a "real connection with the audience."

"People would come up to him as if he was some sort of uncle. They felt they really knew him."

Beautiful writing

BBC Wales' head of news and current affairs, Mark O'Callaghan, said everybody at BBC Wales would be shocked and upset to hear of his untimely death.

"As the face of BBC Wales sports coverage for many years, Bob's passion, love and understanding of sport created beautiful writing and first class journalism.

"Along with his wider contribution to news and current affairs at the BBC, his commitment to journalism in Wales was second to none.

"He was a great journalist and a great colleague who will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time."


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