Former Age writer Stephen Howell commemorated at Caulfield

“Stephen was a beautiful writer and loved doing stories on the battlers or the people that nobody would have heard of. One particular story was on Jack Franklin who opens the gate at 3.45am, six days a week, at Flemington.

“I must have walked past him 1000 times over the years, but Stephen wrote a beautiful feature on him, and he had an amazing story to tell and how he had been working there for 50 years.

“He would give me so much freedom to just go and take nice, different pictures rather than just a horse or person standing in front of the camera. Stephen was an amazing writer and editor, but he cared more about the picture that had to be taken than his story he was writing and that’s why I loved working with Stephen. He was a real pictures person.”

Sponsors with Cardinal Gem after winning the Stephen Howell Memorial Trophy at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday.

Sponsors with Cardinal Gem after winning the Stephen Howell Memorial Trophy at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday. Credit:Getty Images

Howell was renowned as a writer and sub-editor who was cool and calm under pressure.

Howell, who was born in Launceston, covered the NBL and WNBL and the national men’s and women’s teams for the sunday age and The Age, also covering basketball at the Sydney Olympics. He worked as a sub-editor at The Herald and The Agewith a meticulous eye for detail.

He worked at Inside Racing from 2009-16, and produced the book The Story Of The Melbourne Cup, Australia’s Greatest Race for Slattery Media and the Victoria Racing Club.

The Age sports writer Michael Lynch described Howell as courteous and thoughtful with a dry sense of humour. “I sat next to Stephen for years,” Lynch said.

“We were the two who barely ever wrote about Australian rules football, and I admired his skill and knowledge about racing … and basketball.

“But until his memorial service I had no idea of ​​the depth of the man, his deep love of and involvement in family, his commitment to refugee justice and several other aspects of his life, despite speaking to him day after day, month after month , year after year.”