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Boxing | South Africa

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Legendary sports writer dies

It has been reported that Norman Canale, known as the prince of sports writers, passed away yesterday, in KwaZulu Natal, just before his 95th birthday.

Norman covered most sports but boxing was undoubtedly his favourite.

He was co-editor of the South Africa Sportsman magazine with Chris Greyvenstein, and Sports Editor of the Sunday Express in an illustrious, sometimes controversial, and outstanding career. He was named Sports Writer of the Year in 1980.

In his heyday there was no television, so he had to weave his magic on a typewriter from ring-side. He was also a noted writer on rugby, tennis, and golf.

Norman wrote many articles on boxing during the 1970s and 1980s, which was a golden era in South African boxing.

After leaving the Sunday Express in 1984 he continued to write on the sport stars of the day like Charlie Weir, Gerrie Coetzee, and Kallie Knoetze as a freelance sports and news feature writer, and columnist.

In his book Snakes in the Garden of Eden, published in 2010, he writes about the phenomenon known as “the newspaperman’s pub”, which subsequently disappeared from the scene.

He mentions the The Fed, down the road from the newspaper offices in an era that covered roughly from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Norman pursued the truth on behalf of the sporting public – at all costs.

He wrote articles on legends like Bobby Locke, Muhammad Ali, Jack Dempsey, Lew Hoad, Frik du Preez, Bennie Osler, Vinnige Fanie, and a number of others.


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