Trizia Fiorellino, Chelsea fan correspondent for the Irish Examiner since 2004, has died in a London hospital after a short illness.
Trizia, 50, was a regular contributor to Examiner Sport’s Terrace Talk feature and frequently contributed articles on general Premier League news.
Her last column with the Irish Examiner was in July when she happily welcomed the return of Frank Lampard to Stamford Bridge.
Trizia was also chairman of the Chelsea Supporters Group which was established to represent the views of ordinary fans to the club board in the often febrile and volatile atmosphere at Stamford Bridge and was highly respected for her keen intelligence and negotiating skills.
Chelsea’s director of communications Steve Atkins said she was “respected by everyone here and will be sorely missed”.
Steven Kelly, long-time and good-humoured sparring partner with Trizia in his role as Liverpool fan correspondent, said: “This is awful. I noticed she said nothing about our rather lucky win at Stamford Bridge, and then nothing about Spurs conceding seven. That is when I actually began worrying.”
Allan Prosser, Irish Examiner editor, said: “The football world is a smaller place without Trish’s smile and generous disposition. She helped football supporters in many unheralded and unreported ways and balanced lifelong support for Chelsea, home and away, with a challenging job in logistics for a large company.
Sports editor Tony Leen added: “The first time I met her, Trizia swept into a conference in Cork on sportswriting like she owned the gig. She was swashbuckling and funny and blindly loyal to her beloved Chelsea — frequently in the face of reason and fact.
“To her family and friends, the team at Examiner Sport extends heartfelt sympathies.
“I hope Frank Lampard realises what a loyal foot soldier he has lost.”