Former Shields Gazette graphic designer and “experienced and highly-regarded” football scout Karl Newton sadly passed away last week while out walking in Cumbria with friends.
The football community have paid tribute to popular Karl, who worked with a host of clubs, including South Shields Football Club, Newcastle City Juniors FC, Stockport County, AFC Fylde, Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Leyton Orient before recently joining Blackburn Rovers FC as a technical recruitment analyst.
The clubs have all shared their heartfelt condolences with Karl’s family and friends.
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Hebburn Town FC said: “Karl followed Hebburn Town from a young age helping his dad Stephen as a committee member - as a ball boy, kitman, programme seller, and most recently scouting and coaching in various roles.
"Karl was a fantastic person, who loved his football and touched so many across the professional and non-league scene.”
South Shields FC added: “It would be impossible to meet anyone with a negative word to say about him. For Karl to be taken so young is a tragedy and he will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to spend time with him.
“All our love and thoughts are with his family and friends at this unimaginably difficult time. Rest in peace, Karl. You were an absolute diamond.”
Blackburn Rovers said: “We are devastated to learn of the tragic and untimely passing of Karl Newton, who recently joined the club as our new technical recruitment analyst.
“An experienced and highly-regarded football scout, who had also worked for Stockport County, AFC Fylde, Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Leyton Orient, Karl sadly passed away last week whilst walking in the Lake District with friends.
“The thoughts of everyone at Blackburn Rovers are with Karl’s partner, Louise, and his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.”
Karl worked as a graphic designer for the Gazette in the 2000s and also wrote a column about life supporting Newcastle United.
Former Gazette football writer Gary Oliver said: “Karl was destined to follow his dream of forging a career in the beautiful game and it was no surprise to see him become so respected in football circles by so many clubs and officials for all of his hard work and endeavour. I'd still see Karl out watching games, scouting players. His boundless passion for the game was always there.
“Karl just didn't live and breathe the game, he really loved it too. Now alas, the football world is immeasurably poorer for his passing.
“I'll remember a kid with a grin as wide as the Tyne. A smile so beaming, way brighter than any floodlights at his beloved St James' Park. A lovely lad who grew into a football man.”