Dickson joined the Mail in 1990 and covered a variety of sports, most notably cricket, before dedicating himself to tennis in 2007. The paper described Dickson as “Mr Wimbledon” as it reported his sudden passing in Melbourne.
The news was announced by Dickson’s family on his social media feed on Wednesday, 10 days before his 60th birthday. His wife, Lucy, tweeted: “We are devastated to announce that our wonderful husband and Dad, Mike, has collapsed and died while in Melbourne for the Aus Open. For 38 years he lived his dream covering sport all over the world. He was a truly great man and we will miss him terribly. Lucy, Sam, Ruby and Joe.”
Tributes were paid from across sport and beyond. Speaking on Eurosport, an emotional Tim Henman said: “It’s incredibly sad he passed away in Melbourne. He was a great friend of the tennis community. Our thoughts go out to his family.”
British tennis player Liam Broady tweeted: “Don’t know what to say. A strong, good and fair man. Cared about me when I was at my lowest ebb. Rest well Mike.”
And the former player Laura Robson wrote: “Truly devastating news. Can’t believe it. All my thoughts with Mike’s family.”
Piers Morgan, a former Mail columnist and editor, tweeted in reply to the Dickson family: “So sorry to hear this. Mike was a terrific journalist. RIP.”
The Mail’s chief sports writer, Oliver Holt, wrote: “I am so sorry for your loss. Mike was a great man. He was also a wonderful, valued colleague, brilliant, funny, laconic company and a hugely talented journalist who was admired by everyone who worked with him and read his work. x.”
The Mail’s global publisher of sport, Lee Clayton, said: “Dicko was everything you want a correspondent to be - a brilliant news hound, a terrific writer and a friend to so many in his sport. The world of tennis will join us in mourning. He was a giant of a journalist.
“It will be an impossibly difficult time for us all as we digest this huge loss. Dicko was a magnificent tennis correspondent, but he would also turn his hand to any sport, especially cricket, golf and football, and support colleagues across our team in any challenge, always in such a generous manner. He was just a brilliant bloke, a class act. It was a privilege to work alongside him and to know him.”
Tennis writers who had been working alongside Dickson in Melbourne this week expressed their shock and hailed a “brilliant reporter” and “tremendous friend”.
“Crushing news,” wrote the Daily Telegraph’s Simon Briggs. “Dicko was the doyen. More importantly, a very special human being. We will all miss him terribly.”
An extremely sad day in Melbourne. Those of us here are in complete shock. Mike was a tremendous colleague and friend on the road. The tennis press room will never quite be the same again. https://t.co/fdQSDgPBVw
— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) January 17, 2024
Mike was a brilliant, diligent journalist and a lot of fun to be around. I genuinely can’t believe it. So sorry for his family. Shocking news https://t.co/V4Hvm6UDYL
— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) January 17, 2024
Devastating and a huge shock for everyone. Dicko has been at the heart of tennis journalism for decades. A great reporter and we will all miss him greatly. Thoughts and love with his family https://t.co/fdFykYsJru
— Eleanor Crooks (@EleanorcrooksPA) January 17, 2024
The SJA sends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mike Dickson. He was much loved and respected in the industry, spending 33 years with @MailSport, including spells as cricket correspondent and then tennis. Mike will be greatly missed.https://t.co/zRgahkwjQX https://t.co/KnRmWKRF1m
— Sports Journalists (@SportSJA) January 17, 2024
Dickson was a Tranmere Rovers supporter and the Wirral club posted: “The thoughts of everyone at Tranmere Rovers Football Club are with Mike’s wife and family at this extremely sad time. RIP Mike.”
The Cricket Writers’ Club said in a statement: “We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Mike Dickson while in Australia covering the tennis for the Mail. He was 59. Dicko was a brilliant journalist, on cricket, tennis and much more besides, and a great man who will be dearly missed by so many.”
Dickson wrote the story of Emma Raducanu’s astonishing US Open win in his book Emma Raducanu: When Tennis Came Home. His final piece for the Mail was on Raducanu’s resurgence in Melbourne this week.