Today is the birthday of much-missed fanatical Fulham fan and fearlessly frank football correspondent Danny Fullbrook, who was cruelly taken from us far too soon by cancer aged forty. As we have written on these pages before, Danny, one of the country’s leading football correspondents during his time with the Daily Star and the Daily Mirror, was a valued supporter of Hammyend – having encouraged us both to form the website twenty years ago and then supported us fervently as it grew.
This summer marked 20 years of us covering Fulham Football Club. Over the past decade, we have run a small scholarship scheme for young Fulham fans who are keen to embark on a career in journalism. With the outstanding support of Fulham Football Club and Danny’s former colleagues, we have helped 33 writers and broadcasters into full-time journalism. Several of our correspondents, whose first words appeared on these pages, have progressed to jobs in the media, including at BBC Sport, Sky Sports, BT Sport, the Independent, the Press Association as well as in news and international journalism.
None of this would have been possible without Danny’s passionate advocacy, which meant a lot to me as a teenager with cerebral palsy, who was all too used to being told what he couldn’t do. We have decided to further Danny’s legacy this summer by setting up The Fullbrook Fund, which will formalise our scholarship programme for future Fulham football correspondents.
The Fund will offer support, mentoring and small grants to the next generation of Danny Fullbrooks – Fulham fans with something to say – who dream of covering the beautiful game. I am pleased to say that we have been joined by a number of other Fulham outlets and several of Danny’s former colleagues and friends from the across the sporting world and the generous donations already made will help us also support the award-winning work of the Fulham Foundation and contribute to the crucial work of Maggie’s, the cancer charity that provides daily care and support at Charing Cross Hospital on the Fulham Palace Road.
Our plans for this special fund are in their infancy but we hope it can help deliver a lasting legacy for Danny at his beloved Craven Cottage. We would like to hold the sort of social events that Danny organised during his journalism career, including a prediction competition to rival the sweepstake he ran for his colleagues whilst covering England, but I wanted to write to our readers and long-term supporters of these plans.
We have set up a JustGiving link to allow anyone to contribute to the Fullbrook Fund in honour of Danny who, as the strapline on his cracking Daily Star column conveyed, was frank and fearless in whatever he did.
Thanks for everything, Danny, and we hope to keep making you proud. Come on you Whites!