Today we said goodbye to a football journalist who loved Manchester United, for more than a quarter of a century was Sir Alex Ferguson’s ghost writer, and for many years was my friend and confidante.
David Meek was never tainted by the cynical world of journalism. He was a gentleman and such a kind-hearted and dignified man who loved to talk about the beautiful game and the heroes he was lucky enough to write about.
It was 60 years ago this year when ‘Meeky’ covered his first football match at Old Trafford. It was the Sheffield Wednesday game that followed the Munich Air Disaster, and it was the start of a fascination with the club that lived with him until his final days.
We are saddened to learn that former journalist and friend of the club, David Meek, has passed away. David covered United for over 50 years, was a long-time United Review columnist, and helped write Sir Alex's programme notes. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time. pic.twitter.com/VM3701EKs2
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 30, 2018
A former political writer, he was hooked by his unexpected love affair with the Red Devils and it was my privilege to film many interviews with him down the years for a series of documentaries about Manchester United.
Until my father Ron Gubba who spent the last 15 years of his life writing for the Daily Telegraph died a decade ago, the two of them spent many years travelling to football matches together. My father loved his travel buddy dearly and respected him hugely for his honesty and integrity as a journalist with amazing connections with our club.
Since my father departed I got to know David a lot better myself and I have many long interviews with him in my archives that are fascinating to watch and listen to, and I will treasure them even more now that my friend is sadly no longer with us.
MEEK ON BEST
Here is an extract from one of my favourite interviews with David Meek where he talks about my boyhood idol George Best. His insight and memories about George are fascinating and this is one of my more recent filming sessions with a journalist and writer I grew up reading. Not just his columns in the Manchester Evening News and the iconic Football Pink, but his many books about my football heroes.
David was the Manchester Evening News’ correspondent on United for 37 years, taking up the post in the worst possible circumstances – by succeeding the great Tom Jackson, one of the fellow journalists who tragically lost his life in the Munich Air Disaster in 1958.
He interviewed every United manager from Sir Matt Busby to Sir Alex Ferguson and compiled their notes for the official match programme. He became more than just a football reporter, acquiring special responsibility for covering events at United and being accepted into the fold as a much-loved member of the club’s wider family.
Tonight my thoughts are with David’s wife Liz and his family,. Along with his many followers I am privileged to have known this iconic football writer who has sadly passed away at the age of 88. RIP.