The Daily Mail’s veteran tennis correspondent Mike Dickson has dropped dead while covering the Australian Open, according to reports.
The esteemed sportswriter collapsed and died suddenly in Melbourne while covering the tennis championship, his family has announced.
He was 59 years old.
Dickson has been a popular figure in press boxes for 38 years.
The author and journalist became a cricket correspondent and started covering tennis after joining the Mail in 1990.
He was due to turn 60 on January 27 but his death was confirmed in a social media post by his wife and children.
“We are devastated to announce that our wonderful husband and Dad, Mike, has collapsed and died while in Melbourne for the Aus Open,” said a post from Dickson’s X account.
“For 38 years he lived his dream covering sport all over the world,” added the message from “Lucy, Sam, Ruby, and Joe.”
“He was a truly great man and we will miss him terribly.”
Dickson was originally from the Wirral in England and lived with his family in Wimbledon, London.
He had been a regular at major events in tennis, cricket, horse racing, and golf for decades.
He had contributed to a host of books too, including the Sunday Times bestseller Bob Willis: A Cricketer and a Gentleman. Among his many friends in sport was Michael Vaughan, the Ashes-winning England captain and Telegraph Sport columnist.
Dickson had been enthusiastically covering the tennis in Melbourne this week, posting on Tuesday “many happy returns to Grand Slam action for Emma Raducanu” after she beat Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-2 “with minimum of fuss.”
Star player Tim Henman was among the leading figures in tennis to pay tribute to Dickson.
Speaking on Eurosport, Henman said: “It’s incredibly sad he passed away in Melbourne.
“He was a great friend of the tennis community.
“Our thoughts go out to his family.”
Laura Robson, another British former player, said Dickson’s death was “truly devastating.”
“Can’t believe it,” she posted on social media.
“All my thoughts with Mike’s family.”
Current tennis star Liam Broady added: “Don’t know what to say.
“A strong, good, and fair man.
“Cared about me when I was at my lowest ebb. Rest well Mike.”
The Sport Journalists’ Association also expressed condolences.
Piers Morgan, a former Daily Mail columnist and editor, said Dickson was a “terrific journalist.”
The Mail said Dickson had covered 30 different sports across nearly 50 countries during his time with the newspaper.
A host of colleagues paid tribute to Dickson, who followed both Tranmere Rovers and Everton FC. Lee Clayton, Global Publisher for Sport at the company, said: “Dicko was everything you want a correspondent to be – a brilliant news hound, a terrific writer and a friend to so many in his sport.
“The world of tennis will join us in mourning.
“He was a giant of a journalist.
“It will be an impossibly difficult time for us all as we digest this huge loss.
“Dicko was a magnificent tennis correspondent, but he would also turn his hand to any sport, especially cricket, golf, and football, and support colleagues across our team in any challenge, always in such a generous manner.
“He was just a brilliant bloke, a class act. It was a privilege to work alongside him and to know him.”
Late on Wednesday, the great Rafael Nadal also paid tribute to Dickson.
“Very sorry to hear about the passing of Mike who has been following tennis all these years,” said the Spaniard.
“My thoughts to his family and to our tennis family for the loss. Rest in peace.”
In a tribute to Dickson, the Daily Mail said its sports department is “devastated” and “heartbroken” by “Mike’s sudden death.”
The newspaper added that Dickson “died suddenly.”
However, no cause of death has been revealed.