'Incredibly sad': Australian Open rocked by Aussie icon's tragic death

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·5-min read
The Australian Open trophy, pictured here at Melbourne Park.
Paul Malone covered countless Australian Opens and was a renowned tennis and rugby league writer. (Photo by Mackenzie Sweetnam/Getty Images)

The Australian sporting community has been rocked by the death of beloved tennis and rugby league journalist Paul Malone.

The former sports editor at the Courier Mail in Brisbane, Malone died at age 59 on Tuesday night.

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Malone passed away at St Andrews War Memorial Hospital, nearly two years after he was left a quadriplegic in a fall at another hospital in 2019.

The 59-year-old was a renowned tennis and rugby league writer and covered three Olympic Games.

“Aussie tennis has lost a great and long-serving journalist, Paul Malone,” Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley tweeted on Wednesday.

“My thoughts are with Paul’s wife Sharon, his son Thomas, friends, colleagues and all those who thrived on his reporting across so many sports.”

Australian tennis star John Millman tweeted: “Incredibly saddened to hear the news of Paul Malone.

“A titan of sports journalism who showed more fight than any I could dream to muster.”

The Brisbane Broncos also expressed their shock, while the Australian Olympic Committee described Malone as “master of his trade”.

“The Broncos would like to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Paul “Scobie” Malone - a fine journo who covered rugby league with passion and a great eye for detail,” the Broncos tweeted.

“Everyone at the club is deeply saddened by the news of his passing.”

Aussie sport pays tribute to Paul Malone

In a beautiful tribute to his former colleague, Robert Craddock of the Courier Mail wrote: “Malone displayed incredible courage, tackling many major physical and mental challenges with a spirit that had long-serving doctors and nurses expressing deep-seated admiration for the man and his equally inspiring wife Sharon.

“True to the self-effacing nature of the man, Malone fought his battles in private, well away from the self-indulgent world of social media. He craved no-one’s tears, just the company of his family and a few old mates.

“Despite his own extreme challenges, Malone stunned former workmates by reaching out to them about their own setbacks, getting bedside assistance to dial several Courier-Mail sports journalists who were made redundant last June.”

Malone covered countless Australian Opens, over 100 State of Origin games, Kangaroo tours and wrote books with rugby league greats Allan Langer and Brent Tate.

“Paul Malone is one of the finest gentlemen I ever had the privilege of meeting. Rest In Peace,” Tate tweeted.

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