Today is Danny Fullbrook’s birthday. We sadly lost one of the most talented members of football’s journalistic community far too early to cancer some nine years ago, but the former Daily Star football correspondent’s memory lives on in many ways. From the community projects funded by schemes sponsored by the Fulham Foundation and a set of schemes to support the sports writers of the future by national newspapers and local football clubs alike, to the fact that on a purely personal level, I can’t help wondering what Danny would have made of any major sporting development when a big story breaks.

Danny was a major influence on my own early journalistic career – encouraging me to write regularly and quickly becoming a regular correspondent via email after meeting me on the walk away from Craven Cottage one afternoon. He became an enthusiastic supporter of this site – offering his advice and typically forthright opinions – as a lifelong Fulham fan. He was one of the old school of sports journalists, someone who recognised that he was doing the best job in the world, and had a responsibility to tell it how it was – both for the fans who would read his copy and to make sure he was reporting the right information, a quality which earned him the trust of everyone within the game.

Dave Kidd, one of Danny’s colleagues and another Fulham supporter, once said he had a perception of Fulham fans as rather shy and reserved until he met Danny. He was lively, for sure, but he was also extremely generous with his time and cared passionately about the next generation. His column contained the ‘Fearless’ moniker that summed Fullbrook up, none more so than when he battled cancer with the sort of vigour which he chased down every story. Danny didn’t mind telling people when they were wrong, as he memorably did Thierry Henry after a post-match press conference on September 11 when the Frenchman was moaning about the injustice of a disallowed goal. The simple rejoinder that most people would be preoccupied by more important matters at that point did the trick.

In the aftermath of Danny’s sad passing, when the tributes flowed from right across football and the media, and an emotional funeral, I made a commitment to continue this site – which has covered events at Craven Cottage since 2003 – in his memory. It hasn’t always been easy, but we’re also determined to try and tackle Fulham issues fairly, forthrightly and accurately. Danny loved a good debate and that’s what we’ll have here. We also pledged to try and offer a home for the talented football writers of tomorrow. We’re immensely proud of the progress made by contributors past and present in their journalism careers, especially the superb Lydia Campbell at BBC Sport, and have recently recruited a number of Fulham fans with ambitions to follow in their footsteps as new writers. If you’d like a crack at covering Fulham, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

That’s the best way that we can pay tribute to Danny, whose generosity of spirit and time, took our idea to be a home for Craven Cottage comment to heights we couldn’t have dreamed of when we got going in 2003. I still picture how he would have celebrated Joe Bryan’s brilliant free kick that beat Brentford at Wembley, where the media centre carries a plaque denoting his contribution to sports journalism, or England’s remarkable progress at this summer’s European Championship. Loudly, for certain. He’ll always be with us – and hopefully we can carry his legacy forward together.

Our thoughts as always are with Danny’s colleagues as well as Jim, Sylvia, Jo and Edward today.