Friday, August 21, 2009

21 August 1936 - J.A.H., R.I.P.

On 21 August 1936, football reporter and author J.A.H. Catton died at the age of 76. He was widely regarded as the greatest sports writer of his day and is considered the father of modern football journalism.

He got his start as a reporter in 1875 when he went to work for the Preston Herald and began covering local side Preston North End. In 1886, he began writing for The Athletic News, a weekly sports journal based in Manchester. He wrote under a pseudonym, first using "Ubique," and then "Tityrus." He later became the editor and helped drive circulation up to 50,000 by 1891, then to 100,000 by 1893 and 170,000 by 1919.

In 1926, Catton published a book, The Story of Association Football, which further helped publicize the increasingly-popular sport.

By the time of his death in 1936, newspapers in Britain devoted substantial coverage to football, due in significant part to his efforts.

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