Tributes have been paid to Danny Fullbrook, the chief football writer of the Daily Star, who has died from cancer aged 40.

Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand was among those expressing their sadness at Fullbrook's death.

Ferdinand wrote on Twitter: "RIP Danny Fullbrook, thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."

Fullbrook, from Staines, attended Hull University and began his journalism career at the Hull Daily Mail, where he covered Hull City, before moving to report on midlands football for the Birmingham Evening Mail and then the Daily Star.

He moved to London to work for the Sunday Mirror before returning to the Daily Star in 2000 as chief football writer. Aged 28, he was by some years the youngest in such a position on any Fleet Street newspaper, and he made an immediate impact.

As a regular and forthright guest on TV football programmes, he soon became a familiar figure to many fans and indeed players - David Beckham and Frank Lampard both contacted him during his illness to offer their support.

Fullbrook co-wrote a number of books on football, including on his beloved Fulham's first season in the Premier League.

Adrian Bevington, the managing director of Club England, said: "On behalf of the FA and everyone in the England set-up including the players we would like to express our sadness and deepest sympathy on learning that Danny has passed away.

"Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time. He was a very well-respected individual and a real character around the football media circuit who will be greatly missed by everybody.

"To lose someone so young is the saddest part of this."

Source: PA