Hopcraft, Arthur 1932-2004
HOPCRAFT, Arthur 1932-2004
OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born November 29, 1932 (one source says November 30), in Shoeburyness, Essex, England; died November 22, 2004, in London, England. Journalist and author. Hopcraft was a well-known sports writer who later became a successful author of television screenplays. His journalism career began at the age of fifteen, when he left school to write for various local newspapers. During the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, he wrote for such papers as the Guardian, Daily Mirror, and Observer, often traveling the world to report on such serious issues as world hunger and poverty, a subject about which he wrote in his first book, Born to Hunger (1968). His favorite topic, however, was soccer (or football, as it is known in England and Europe), and he became well-established as a sports journalist. His second book, The Football Man: People and Passions in Soccer (1968; revised edition, 1971), was a critical and popular success. By the 1970s, however, Hopcraft was becoming increasingly plagued by claustrophobia, which hampered his ability to attend crowded sporting events for his reports. He found a solution when a chance meeting with someone who worked at the Stables Theatre led to his writing his first play, Cyril and the Sex Kittens. This was followed by other early plays, including The Mosedale Horseshow (1971) and the teleplays The Reporters. (1972) and The Nearly Man (1975). By the mid-1970s, Hopcraft had built a successful television writing career, to which he added adaptations of books by such writers as Charles Dickens and John le Carré. The winner of the 1985 British Academy of Film and Television Arts award, his more recent works for television include Hostage (1992) and Rebecca (1997); he also published the autobiographical The Great Apple Raid (1970), and the book Mid-Century Man (1982).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Guardian (London, England), November 26, 2004, p. 31.
Independent (London, England), November 26, 2004, p. 42.
Times (London, England), November 27, 2004, p. 82.