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July 20, 2016

Regional sports writer who befriended Alex Higgins publishes memoirs to mark 80th birthday

By Amaka Opara

A former regional press sports journalists who struck up a friendship with late snooker star Alex ‘The Hurricane’ Higgins has released a book about his career to mark his 80th birthday.

John Dee, a former writer for the Express and Star, is giving proceeds of the sales of his book Deetales  to a fund in aid of his 12-year old granddaughter, Eloise, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a rare neuro-muscular condition.

The book covers Dee’s time reporting on Wolverhampton Wanderers and later going on to edit his own snooker magazine, Cue World.

His work on Cue World gave him the opportunity to form a friendship with Higgins, the Northern Irish professional snooker player.

Dee said of him: “To my mind [he was] the finest man to ever play the game.”

 

Covering snooker gave Dee ample opportunities to travel, visiting countries such as China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Dubai.

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He will be travelling to Thailand this September to cover the Six Red World Championship.

Career highlights included the time he secured a front-page byline in The Sun after snooker player Jimmy White requested Dee cover the story of his diagnosis with testicular cancer.

“I said of course I would”, he reminisced. “That was one of the top stories I ever did.”

He also fondly recalled the story of Erica Roe streaking at Twickenham in 1982 which he described as “…good fun…quite an unusual sight to see on a rugby pitch though”.

Dee spent two years covering a case involving allegations of bribery during a 1972 match between Leeds Utd and Wolverhampton, citing it as the “biggest” story he had been involved with.

Anyone wishing to purchase the title at £10 should contact Dee on 07770 321147.

He is pictured above with former Express and Star colleagues.

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