TRIBUTES have been paid to an avid sports fan and former Gazette reporter following his sudden death at the age of 81.

Cliff Mogg, who died on Friday, 25 August, had a long and fruitful career in the newspaper industry, and was even chief reporter at The Gazette.

Born in Sherborne in Dorset, Cliff moved to Old Basing in 1972 to run the Basingstoke district office of the Reading Evening Post, before becoming the chief reporter at The Gazette.

His son Trevor Mogg told The Gazette: “His job was a huge part of his life.

“He just loved talking to people and a lot of people in the area knew him and wanted to share their stories with him.”

“During his time reporting in Basingstoke, he dined with The Queen, covered stories on militant trade unionists and saw Tory councillors being chased out of the council chamber and some readers may remember his popular Talk of the Town column.”

Outside of work, Trevor said Cliff loved his sport, regularly playing tennis as a member of the Basing Tennis Club, and even into later life he was active as a member of the over 50s sports club in the town.

An avid Manchester United fan, Trevor said that his father’s love for sport rubbed off on him and his three brothers.

He added: “He loved life and always was doing something active.

“Three of his four sons seemed to have taken up that sport side and one of my brothers still plays football now.”

Something else that Trevor said he inherited from his father was his sense of humour adding: “Dad had a great sense of humour.

“He liked having a laugh and was always joking around with us when we were younger.”

Paying tribute to his father Trevor said: “He was always really active and sharing right until the end.”

Cliff is survived by his wife Jenny and four sons and five grandchildren The funeral will be held at Basingstoke Crematorium on 12 September at 3.30pm. Donations can be made to the British Heart Foundation.