TRIBUTES have been paid to the well-known sports journalist Robin Davey who has died suddenly in his 70s.

Robin, from Newport, was the Argus’ chief rugby writer and served his hometown newspaper for more than 40 years before he retired in 2011.

He covered the fortunes of Newport RFC, Pontypool RFC, the Dragons, Wales and the British and Irish Lions during a glittering career.

Players, public figures and fellow professionals took to Twitter to pay tribute to him.

"Shocked and saddened to hear about the sudden death of Robin Davey former rugby correspondent @southwalesargus passionate about rugby @NewportRFC @dragonsrugby and indeed politics deepest condolences to his wife Sue friends and family,” wrote Matthew Evans, former Newport mayor and leader of the Conservative group on the city's council.

Former Newport RFC captain and Wales flanker Jason Forster said: "Such sad news RIP Robin."

He was Mr Gwent Rugby

Journalist Tony Poole wrote: "Yes, so sudden + sad. Only last week I was exchanging Twitter banter with him.

"To most folk he was quite rightly dubbed Mr Gwent Rugby.

South Wales Argus:

Robin Davey served the Argus for 46 years. Picture: Twitter 

"And although retired, still produced some thought-provoking sentiment on regional and international rugby via social media. Goodnight God bless."

His rugby reports became compulsive reading

Speaking to the Argus, Mike Dams, a former Newport RFC historian, said: “I am very saddened to hear of Robin’s passing.

My first memory of him was from reading the South Wales Argus many years ago where his reports on Newport RFC became compulsive reading.

South Wales Argus:

Robin presents an Argus-backed petition to WRU secretary Ray Williams calling for Pontypool great David Bishop to be given a chance in the Wales team

“I often read the back page first. What Robin said was not to everyone’s taste but he said it as he saw it.

“I really got to know Robin when I took on the role of Newport RFC historian with the task of compiling all club match records and player records back to 1875.

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“It was a massive task and took some years to complete.

“When I got stuck I would give Robin a ring and he would invite me down to the Argus office and let me loose on some incredible (old and dusty) records.

South Wales Argus:

Robin receiving his award from fellow journalist Peter Corrigan on winning the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame Journalist of the Year accolade 

“For this I will always be grateful to Robin who was a great help.”

A keen golfer and animal lover, Robin witnessed the highs and lows of Welsh rugby over the course of his career from the late 1960s to 2011.

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He bowed out after he returned from the World Cup in New Zealand where Wales came agonisingly close to reaching the final.

Joining the newspaper in 1965 from school, he moved to sport full time in 1969, covering the second Golden Era of Welsh rugby during the 1970s.

South Wales Argus:

Robin talking to Ron Waldron who coached Wales in the early 1990s

He also toured New Zealand with the 1977 Lions when Gwent provided the tourists with seven players.

Robin covered the inaugural Rugby World Cup Down Under in 1987 and reported from the tournaments in South Africa in 1995 and Australia in 2003.

He attended 300 rugby internationals and received the Welsh Sports Journalist of the Year award in 2008.

He resisted the temptation to join the nationals on Fleet Street during their halcyon days of the Seventies and Eighties, preferring to remain loyal to his local newspaper.

On his retirement 11 years ago, Robin said: “I have enjoyed a wonderful career and been privileged to have met some of the all-time greats of Welsh, and indeed, world rugby.

“Some of those I am now honoured to call friends.”