Tributes are pouring in for Sydney sports journalist Rebecca Wilson who died this morning at age 54 after a private battle with breast cancer.
Wilson is being remembered as a strong and courageous trailblazer who was passionate about sport and journalism.
Husband, former News Limited chief executive John Hartigan, and sons Tom and Will said in a statement she passed away at her Sydney home.
“Courage has always been a significant part of her DNA, no less in her desperate battle against her insidious disease,” the family said.
“She brushed aside evil trolls, bullies and organised crime figures to prosecute her craft.”
“She proved that women had an equally important role in sports journalism as her male counterparts.”
Sydney broadcaster and friend Alan Jones struggled to get the words out about his former colleague on air this morning.
“Bec was a force of nature, in a way,” he said.
“She was brilliant, she was unsparing.”
Rebecca kept her illness a closely guarded secret, with the majority of her friends, colleagues and even members of her family unaware of the extent of her illness.
“She did so to limit their suffering,” the family said.
Vale Rebecca Wilson, great sports columnist, devoted mother, wife and friend. Shocking news of her passing, to breast cancer.
— Peter FitzSimons (@Peter_Fitz) October 6, 2016
It's a very sad day. I too have worked, laughed &, to be honest, disagreed a helluva lot with her but Rebecca Wilson was a standout. #RIPBec
— Tracey Holmes (@TraceyLeeHolmes) October 6, 2016
Vale Rebecca Wilson. Funny & generous, made me feel so welcome on The Fat sports shows. My thoughts are with her family and friends.
— Julia Zemiro (@julia_zemiro) October 6, 2016
Really sorry to hear Rebecca Wilson from @dailytelegraph has died. She was a passionate &gutsy reporter who loved sport. She will be missed.
— Kate McClymont (@Kate_McClymont) October 6, 2016
So terribly sad to hear of Rebecca Wilson's passing. Funny, gutsy, one of a kind, unforgettable woman. Condolences to John and her boys.
— Juanita Phillips (@Juanita_Phillip) October 6, 2016
Picture of Rebecca Wilson from Offsiders: “Newspaper war” & Rebecca Wilson’s conflict of interest YouTube