Northampton-born sports journalist and 'passionate' music writer dies aged 31

Dan Lucas dies on Sunday aged 31. Colleagues have called him a 'wonderful, passionate and fiercely intelligent person.'

Dan Lucas dies on Sunday aged 31. Colleagues have called him a 'wonderful, passionate and fiercely intelligent person.'

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A young Northampton-born sports writer and Guardian journalist has died.

Dan Lucas, 31, died suddenly on March 12 (Sunday) after falling off a bus and breaking his ankle.

Dan with his father, Gary, at a Northampton Saints Rugby game.

Dan with his father, Gary, at a Northampton Saints Rugby game.

His friend and former colleague, John Robb, said in a blog post that this incident seemed 'to have triggered something far more serious.'

Dan was The Guardian's cricket and rugby live online reporter since 2013. His final report was a live blog of the Six Nations match between England and Scotland the day before he died.

He was raised in Northampton and grew a passion for sports after his father took him to see Northampton Saints against Leicester Tigers for the first time in 1994.

His father, Gary Lucas, said: "He did it his own way, and did it the hard way.

A tweet sent out by the Northampton Saints, of which Dan was a lifelong supporter.

A tweet sent out by the Northampton Saints, of which Dan was a lifelong supporter.

"I took him to his first game see Northampton Saints against Leicester Tigers back in 1994. I think it was the beginning of his interest in sports. Later, I think he liked the intellectual challenge of writing for sports, particularly rugby and cricket.

"At one point, he interviewed Harry Shearer, a voice actor for The Simpsons and got a photo with him. He was a huge Simpsons fan. I think that was the proudest moment of his life.

"We're still in shock but we've been overwhelmed by the support and messages from his friends and colleagues."

He began writing while studying German at Lancaster University and early into his freelance sports and music writing career he joined music websites Drowned in Sound and Louder than War.

Dan with The Simpsons' voice actor Harry Shearer. Dan's father called Dan's interview with Harry 'the proudest moment of my life.'

Dan with The Simpsons' voice actor Harry Shearer. Dan's father called Dan's interview with Harry 'the proudest moment of my life.'

Colleagues have said he had a "great music passion" whose "opinionated and brilliant writing was addictive and compulsive."

John Robb, director of the Louder Than War, where Dan was an editor early in his career, said: "God bless you Dan, you were a wonderful, passionate and fiercely intelligent person and it was an honour to talk and argue music with you in the time that I knew you.

"We were honoured to have him write for us as he started on his journalism career and proud of how well he has done."

Dan began writing for The Guardian's sports section in 2013. A Guardian article described him as "an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and engaging author of the Guardian’s popular cricket and rugby union live online reports."

Dan with his girlfriend, Liz.

Dan with his girlfriend, Liz.

The Guardian’s head of sport, Owen Gibson, said in a statement: "He combined a love of sport with forensic knowledge to paint a picture of the action for readers and keep them involved. He was a talented journalist and a much-liked presence around the office. Our thoughts are obviously with his family, friends and girlfriend at this time. He will be much missed.”

Sean Adams, the editor of Drowned in Sound, said in an Instagram post: “Woke up today to a devastating reminder of quite how short and fragile life is. One minute you’re writing a live blog and tweeting about Batman, the next someone is sharing the news that you’re gone. My deepest condolences go out to Liz and his family.”

A thread on the unofficial Northampton Saints message board, Come On You Saints, was started in memory of Dan.

One user posted: " My thoughts are with Dan's family and girlfriend. I'll miss his excellent articles. His love of Saints and rugby in general shone through."

The Northampton Saints tweeted their condolences and said: "Really sorry to hear this news about Dan - we send our wishes to his colleagues, friends and family."