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Journalist was pioneer of football management; OBITUARY.

A former journalist who helped fashion modern football management has died of cancer at the age of 75.

The career of Mr John Camkin, from Warwickshire, encompassed journalism, football, business and sports administration.

He was brought up in a sporting family and his father was the first managing director appointed by a Football League club, Birmingham City.

Educated at Warwick School, his first job was with a Leamington Spa weekly newspaper before he moved to Oxford just previous to the Second World War.

In 1942, after a spell with the University Air Squadron, he joined the RAF as a navigator with Bomber Command.

Demobbed in 1946, Mr Camkin resumed his journalistic career and in 1953, succeeded the legendary Charlie Buchan as football correspondent of the News Chronicle until it closed.

He then moved to the Daily Mail and in 1962 joined Anglia TV as a commentator.

He also commentated for BBC Radio for seven years and covered the World Cups of 1954, 1958 and 1962, as well as writing a book about the 1958 tournament.

In 1960 Mr Camkin bought a travel agency in Leamington Spa and soon owned a number of shops in the area.

He sold his business to Thomson's in 1972 and became a main board director of the company for six years, and then chairman of its subsidiary Lunn Poly.

During this time Mr Camkin maintained his role in sport, becoming a director of Coventry City Football Club in 1962, which was then a third division club.

He persuaded Jimmy Hill, known at the time for leading the Professional Footballers Association's fight against the imposition of a maximum wage, to take up a management career with the club.

In 1976, Mr Camkin went with Hill to Saudi Arabia to develop football in the sheikhdom and on their return they shared in a less successful venture backing the Detroit Express team in the North American League.

In the early 1980s, Mr Camkin also managed several promising young golfers, including Howard Clark and Pip Elson.

His last football involvement came when he was asked to form the League Managers Association, of which he was the first chief executive.

Mr Camkin also made a particular mark as chairman of the Leamington Tennis Court Club, where he held the positions of president, chairman, vice-chairman and secretary. He also enjoyed a regular game of tennis and bridge.

A bachelor, he died at his home on Friday, June 19. He is survived by a brother.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 25, 1998
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