Lawrie began as a copy boy at The News in 1933, before taking over from Roy Colmer as chief football writer at The News during the 1951 SANFL final series. He held this position for 25 years. Lawrie also wrote cricket and golf in the summers, and was an original member of the Channel 9 football panel in the era of black-and-white television.
He was the first professional journalist to write regularly on football – explaining how he changed the way the game was reported, making the back page of The News as interesting as Page 1.
The News named its Player of the Year trophy in his honour in 1979.