It is with the deepest regret that we must inform our readers of the death of our well-respected colleague Jim Sharpe, 73.
He has been a reporter for the Maghull and Aintree Champion for more than two decades, since the early days of the paper and was a familiar face pounding the streets of Maghull with his beloved dog Tina and his late brother George’s dog Cinders.
He loved nothing more than holidaying on the Norfolk Broads on his boat, The Manxman, he was an avid bus (and later, trains) enthusiast and enjoyed listening to the radio.
In 2016 he recovered from a near-fatal heart attack and even wrote his popular One Man and his Dog weekly column from his hospital bed. As a result of this incredible dedication to his work, in 2016, he was nominated for the ‘O2 Stand Out Award’ at the prestigious North West 02 Media Awards. He was presented with the Highly Commended award.
In December 2006, he was honoured for his outstanding contribution to the community.
At Maghull Town Council’s Annual Civic Award Evening, a special presentation was made by Sefton Cllr Tony Robertson to Jim for his “many years of unbiased and factual reporting of events and issues in he town.”
The award also praised Jim’s “own personal and interesting style of views” in his popular One Man and his Dog column.
Town clerk Barry Smith said: “Jim’s coverage of events has proved to be invaluable to the wider community of Maghull in keeping people aware of current issues.
“Jim, a Maghulian born and bred, knows the town very well and keeps his ear to the ground so he knows exactly what is going on.”
Champion Group Editor Malcolm Hindle said: “Jim was one of life’s true characters. His work as a journalist, particularly in his home town of Maghull, was greatly respected. But he was perhaps best known for his column ‘One Man and His Dog which appeared weekly in the Champion for more than 20 years. His identity was something of a mystery to many of our readers as his name never appeared alongside the column – it was, as Jim called it, simply ‘Dog’.
“The column was, more often than not, a gentle meander through life and his musings won him a legion of fans - although his views would sometimes raise the hackles of many a Champ reader, mostly when Jim ventured into the thorny terrain of politics.
“He was, though, most at home when talking about his favourite subjects – his dogs, trains, buses, and his beloved Manxman river cruiser which he kept on the Norfolk Broads - the place on earth where Jim was most content.
“He will be greatly missed, not only as a colleague but as a true Champion stalwart... and for being the larger than life character he truly was. Happy sailing Jim.”
Here is the link to the last One Man and his Dog that we published online for Jim recently: https://champnews.com/story.asp?id=GN4_ART_1670782