Lance Hardy trained in journalism at Richmond College in Sheffield and joined the BBC in 1990. He worked across a range of sports, specialising in football.
He was known for being an early champion of women’s football, as well as working on Football Focus and being the editor of Final Score before leaving the BBC in 2011.
Sheffield Telegraph football columnist Alan Biggs joined sporting colleagues, including star Gary Lineker, in paying tribute.
Alan said: “Lance Hardy’s untimely death last weekend was a terrible shock for the media community and a personal blow to me. The former BBC editor and producer has been the subject of generous and well deserved tributes from numerous colleagues and sporting luminaries including Gary Lineker.
“Lance was a sporting all-rounder, albeit specialising in football, as well as being a top level operator on cricket.
“For me, he became a friend more than a colleague after coming to my rescue in 2004 when a 16-year stint reporting football for BBC Radio 5 Live was hit by policy changes.“Lance drafted me across to BBC television’s Final Score and gave my career a new lease of life. There are many others owing similar gratitude.”
While well known in Sheffield, Lance lived in Worksop, and was a big supporter of Worksop Town, helping them to avoid closure. He was also an author.
Alan added: “Considering the cut-throat nature of broadcasting at such a high level, Lance was above all a man of principle and integrity. He treated people fairly and with respect, besides being a hugely talented operator. As for Worksop Town, they owe in no small part their very existence to his work behind the scenes.
"Lance was also a pioneer of projecting women’s football onto our TV screens and giving it the appeal to a mass audience it has today.”
Lance was diagnosed with a terminal illness in March.
Alan added: “Typically, Lance hadn’t wanted friends and colleagues to worry about him and had opted for quality time with his nearest and dearest. He was a modest man, gone far too soon, who will be remembered and missed with great affection.”