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Former ABU Sport Director John Barton passes away

John Barton, a former Director of Sports for ABU and a dedicated journalist, producer, and anchor-man, passed away peacefully in Brisbane, Australia, on February 17th at the age of 73.

During his tenure from 2002 to 2013, John was instrumental in securing broadcasting rights for ABU to a number of the world’s top sporting events, including the Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, and FIFA tournaments. His visionary leadership and unwavering passion for sports broadcasting significantly enhanced ABU’s sports coverage and left a lasting legacy on the industry.

ABU Secretary-General Ahmed Nadeem lauded him as a visionary leader whose contributions transcended the professional realm and touched the lives of everyone he worked with. 

Nadeem remarked, “John’s exceptional dedication and contributions have indelibly shaped the essence of sports broadcasting within ABU, leaving a profound impact on all who had the honour of working alongside him.”

Cai Yanjiang, the current Director of ABU Sports, expressed gratitude for John’s significant contributions to the field. Hanizah Hamzah, Head of TV at ABU, remembered John as both resourceful and immensely supportive.

Retired Colonel Chuchat from Thailand, a long-time friend and industry colleague, reflected on how John will be remembered with affection and respect for his efforts to elevate international sports coverage and for initiating the ABU sports fund, which continues to benefit ABU members.

 Alan Williams, former Director of News and colleague, shared his memories of John as a kind, generous, and charming individual whose work ensured that ABU members had access to major sporting events, highlighting his pivotal role in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

John leaves behind three sons. Plans for a wake, where family and friends can gather to celebrate his life and legacy, will be announced by his family.