Geoff Wheeler, one of the oldest members of the Cricket Writers’ Club and a familiar, smiling face at club lunches, dinners and annual meetings for more than 50 years, has died after a long illness. He was 86.
Geoff was Cricket Correspondent and Sports Editor of the old Exchange Telegraph, which members of a certain age will remember supplied news by ticker tape to business offices and gentlemens’ clubs as well as newspapers.
He went on to join The Times to write county cricket round-ups before joining the sports desk, where he was still working as a casual sub into his late seventies.
“He was a stalwart of the desk and a legend of the cricket review who always had a tale to tell,” said David Chappell, his first Sports Editor at The Times as former colleagues on the desk paid their tributes.
“He’d been there, done that with all the legends of Fleet Street and half the legends of the England team, too,” said one. “An old-school journalist who saved many a writer from getting his mistakes into the newspaper, “said another.
“He could be a bit short (tempered) if you were working alongside him in the office but he was one of the most knowledgeable and enteraining members of the old guard,” another said. “There was never a dull moment with him around.”
As one of the cricket writers who who was saved by Geoff’s dilligence, I will remember him as a generous colleague, an amiable companion and a proud West Country man who would have been delighted to see his beloved Gloucestershire going so well in the County Championship this year. May 5 2021