Ian Wooldridge, 75, one of the most influential and popular British sports journalists of his generation, died Sunday in a London hospital after a long illness, the Daily Mail newspaper reported.
"He was writing his incomparable column to the end, often in considerable discomfort," the paper said. He was reported to have been battling cancer.
Wooldridge, who built his reputation as a cricket correspondent, covered every major sports event for the Daily Mail during a career that spanned nearly half a century. He wrote from 10 Olympic Games for the Mail and won numerous British newspaper awards. He was a two-time newspaper columnist of the year, five-time sportswriter of the year and four-time sports feature writer of the year.
Wooldridge was a particularly harsh critic of the Olympics, including Juan Antonio Samaranch, former president of the International Olympic Committee, and Primo Nebiolo, former president of the International Amateur Athletic Federation.
Wooldridge started his career at a local newspaper in Bournemouth after completing national service. He was working on the News Chronicle when it merged with the Daily Mail in 1960.