Former Downpatrick and Ireland cricket captain Alfie Linehan has been included in a prestigious roll of honour of international sports personalities who died during 2019.
He was among 55 from around the world listed as “special people” in BBC Television’s Sports Personality of the Year programme broadcast at the weekend.
They included England goalkeeper Gordon Banks and racing driver Niki Lauda as well as another cricketer: one of England’s greatest fast bowlers, Bob Willis.
Alfie Linehan died in June after suffering dementia and contracting cancer. He was 79.
He helped take Downpatrick to five senior league and three cup titles and, as a free scoring batsman, captained Ireland in the 1970s. He was also a leading administrator at local and national level.
“It was a lovely surprise for Alfie to be honoured in this way”, says his widow Mary at her home at Ardmeen outside Downpatrick.
“I was on the phone when the item came on and thought I caught Alfie’s picture. When I wound it back, indeed it was Alfie. I was so surprised, but really pleased.”
Cricket was to the forefront throughout the programme. England all rounder Ben Stokes won the top individual award and World Cup winners England took the international team award, collected by Dublin-born captain Eoin Morgan.