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Funeral takes place of veteran sports journalist Malcolm Brodie

Funeral takes place of veteran sports journalist Malcolm Brodie

HUNDREDS of mourners have attended the Funeral of veteran sports journalist Malcolm Brodie.

The Funeral Service was held in Cregagh Presbyterian Church in Belfast. For full details, click here.

Among the mourners were former Northern Ireland internationals Harry Gregg, Pat Jennings, Iain Dowie and Billy Hamilton.

Mr. Brodie, who was 86, passed away on January 29.

Known as Malky to his many friends and colleagues, Mr. Brodie had spent his long career with the Belfast Telegraph, but his reputation as one of the greats in his field was known far beyond the shores of Northern Ireland.

Born in Scotland, the young Brodie had been evacuated from Glasgow to Portadown during the Second World War. After working for a local newspaper  he moved to the Belfast Telegraph, eventually setting up the paper’s first sports desk. He had been the paper’s chief football writer and then sports editor.

During his long career he managed to cover 14 World Cup competitions — from 1954 until 2006. He was awarded the Jules Rimet Centennial Trophy in 2005 by FIFA, in recognition of his work in football. His other awards included an M.B.E. and an honorary doctorate from the University of Ulster.

Over the years, he had supplied copy to many other publications across the world.

Although he had spent most of his life living in Northern Ireland, Mr. Brodie never lost his Scottish accent — a fact which was remarked upon in a tribute from his friend Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager of Manchester United. 

Sir Alex said: “Malcolm was a great friend and always good value in terms of his opinion. He was straight talking and one thing I always admired about him, he never changed his accent which is very difficult living a in a place like Belfast.”

Other tributes were paid from across the sports world.

A Book of Condolence was opened at the offices of the Belfast Telegraph (Library Street entrance).

Although he had been small in stature, Mr. Brodie was, at times, larger-than-life, and had over the years generated hundreds of stories and anecdotes surrounding his activities. Some, no doubt, were apocryphal, but many were true, including the time when he telephoned his match report on the 1970 World Cup final in Mexico. 

Brazil had defeated Italy 4-1. Mr. Brodie — battling a somewhat scratchy transatlantic telephone line — began to dictate his intro to a copytaker in Belfast... the veteran journalist wanted his copy to reflect how brilliant the Brazillian performance had been and began the opening paragraph with “Magnifico, Magnifico, Magnifico...”, but before he could continue, the copytaker cut in with: “Yes, Malky, I heard you the first time”.

Mr. Brodie is survived by his wife Margaret and sons Iain, Kenneth and Steven.

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