- Australian sports journalist Rebecca Wilson has died from breast cancer
- Wilson, 54, passed away on Friday morning surrounded by loved ones
- She kept her 'long' battle with the disease very private
- Wilson had a career spanning 30 years across broadcast and print
Australian sports journalist Rebecca Wilson has died after a long and private battle with cancer.
The 54-year-old, whose career spanned more than 20 years across broadcast and print, passed away 'peacefully' at home in Sydney on Friday, surrounded by loved ones.
'Our amazing Bec lost her long battle against breast cancer early today,' her husband John Hartigan, and their sons Tom and Will said in a statement.
Sports reporter Rebecca Wilson has died after a 'long and private' battle with breast cancer
She is pictured here with her husband John Hartigan
'Courage has always been a significant part of her DNA, no less in her desperate battle against her insidious disease.'
Her family said she kept knowledge of her illness 'a closely guarded secret' so as the limit the suffering of her friends and family.
'The majority of her friends, colleagues and indeed members of her family were unaware of the extent of her illness.
'We are so proud that she was so fearless in her chosen role as a sports journalist.
The 54-year-old was a co-host on the Vega 95.3 breakfast show with Tony Squires (left) and Mikey Robins (right)
Wilson is pictured here in 2009 on Channel Nine's The Footy Show
'She brushed aside evil trolls, bullies and organised crime figures to prosecute her craft.
'She proved that women had an equally important role in sports journalism as her male counterparts.
'We dearly love and miss our Bec,' the family said.
Wilson's career spanned more than 20 years, during which time she worked at numerous Olympic and Commonwealth Games across broadcast and print.
The 54-year-old was a co-host on the Vega 95.3 breakfast show with Tony Squires and Mikey Robins before leaving in October 2009.
Wilson at the 2005 TV Week Logie Awards
Wilson was a regular on the NRL Footy Show over the past 15 years
She is pictured here in 2008 with former radio co-hosts Mikey Robbins and Tony Squires
The breakfast show was axed a short time later and Vega has since been rebranded as Smooth FM.
Wilson was more recently a sports columnist for The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph.
Tributes have already begun to flow from Wilson's colleagues in the media, describing her as 'passionate' reporter and 'great' friend.
'Vale Rebecca Wilson, great sports columnist, devoted mother, wife and friend. Shocking news of her passing, to breast cancer,' Peter FitzSimons wrote on Twitter.
'Really sorry to hear Rebecca Wilson from @dailytelegraph has died. She was a passionate &gutsy reporter who loved sport. She will be missed,' Fairfax investigative reporter Kate McClymont tweeted.
'So sad to hear of passing of my former Beauty & The Beast partner in crime #RebeccaWilson. Thoughts so much with Harto & her treasured boys,' Lisa Wilkinson wrote on social media.