Renowned sports reporter Jim Proudfoot passes away

In 49 years as a sports writer, Toronto Star reporter Jim Proudfoot had seen it all.

He saw George Chuvalo would fight nobly against Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Joe Frazier. He watched as the 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens to become oldest team to win the Stanley Cup.

He was there at Moscow's Luzhniki Arena in September, 1972, when Paul Henderson's goal gave Canada a last-minute victory over the Soviet Union in the original hockey summit.

Proudfoot, who is a member of both the National Hockey League and Canadian Football League halls of fame, died of natural causes on the weekend. He was 67.

Since joining the Star in 1952 and eventually taking over as sports editor from another Canadian sports legend - Milt Dunnell - Proudfoot covered nearly every major sporting event in his half-century in the industry.

In addition to writing about the Stanley Cup, Grey Cup, Super Bowl, the World Series, world figure skating championships, Proudfoot also had a soft spot for Canadian horse racing and devoted a considerable amount of time reporting on the subject.

Steve Tustin, the newspaper's current sports editor, said that it was an honour to know Proudfoot and have him on his staff.

"I grew up reading Jim Proudfoot and I never dreamed that one day I would end up working with him.

"Even after he retired, he was always current and topical and always had that Proudfoot touch on any subject. He was the best."

In 1988, Proudfoot won a National Newspaper Award for his investigation into the mysterious death of jockey Dan Beckon.

Beckon was found shot dead a year earlier shortly after he failed his third drug test for cocaine use and was about to be banned from racing.

Although police ruled the death a suicide, Proudfoot raised some interesting points in his article, earning him the award.

Proudfoot was born in Kearney, Ont. is survived by his brother Dan Proudfoot, a sports writer for the Toronto Sun. Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.