|Vice-President Jack Magowan
Vice-President Jack Magowan
Northern Ireland sports journalism has lost one of its acknowledged master craftsmen
with the death, after a short illness, yesterday of Jack Magowan, distinguished former Belfast Telegraph boxing and golf correspondent.
He was 79.
Tributes, fulsome and
admiring, have poured in from sporting officials and personalities throughout the UK and correspondents covering the US Masters
at Augusta National, Georgia. They all revealed not only the deep affection in which he was held but recognised his professional
expertise, his passion and conviction for sport
Jack Magowan was the
ultimate all-round journalist with a capacity to write entertainingly in a Damon Runyonesque lets-publish-and-be damned style,
and he also possessed the technological ability to design and edit award winning pages.
He was unquestionably
the most accomplished Irish boxing writer of his generation — acerbic, fearless yet fair in his criticism, be they amateur
or professional, competitor or official.
He began his newspaper
career as a copy boy on the now defunct Northern Whig, nursery for so many who reached the heights in all branches of the
local, national and international media. He joined the Belfast Telegraph in November 1950 to become an integral part of an
accomplished team that developed a comprehensive world-wide coverage after the sporting stagnation of the Second World War
years. As the sports editor I found Jack was an ideal man to have in your corner until his retirement in September 1991, although
he continued to produce outstanding columns. “Retirement is not on my radar screen,” he said.
His knowledge of boxing
was unsurpassed, his research and archival facilities the envy of competitors. A member of the British Boxing Writers Association
he had a special friendship with Reg Gutteridge, ITV commentator and for years the London Evening News boxing writer, and
Harry Carpenter of the BBC, both of whom accepted his ability to “read” fights.
One of his sports writing
heroes was the American Paul Gallico, a supreme wordsmith, and he repeatedly quoted his comment: “You talk of the golden
age I was writing about. It is a golden age now. Cassius Clay is every bit as colourful as Dempsey; Lee Trevino could upstage
Walter Hagen. It is one of the tragedies that the golden age we so rarely recognise is the one that we’re actually living
Golf, his other addiction,
held him in total esteem — so much so he was made an honorary member of many Northern Ireland clubs. He covered more
than 30 Open championships, Ryder Cups, United States and European tournaments and, unlike others, he walked round the course
to get “the feel”, as he called it, instead of sitting in the media centre collecting data and the interviews.
He was a founder member
of the Belfast Press Golf Society of which there are now only two original survivors — Denis O’Hara and Bill Clark
— and was a member of the Irish Golf Writers Association.
Behind his straight-from-the-hip
approach there was a genuine warmth and friendliness, never a mercenary streak, a feeling for his fellow humans and a generosity
in helping causes or those who might have hit hard times.
His life revolved around
his family and his devotion to them was remarkable. Every morning for years he would rise at dawn and take his son Simon,
a graduate of Edinburgh University, to Campbell College pool as he trained for the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.
Sincere sympathy is
extended from all in Northern Ireland sport to his wife Betty, Simon and daughter Jane. We have all lost a wonderful colleague
and sport a true friend.
A man missed by
all who knew him
Northern Ireland Ryder
Cup star Darren Clarke has paid tribute to former Belfast Telegraph golf correspondent Jack Magowan.
Clarke was speaking
at the launch of the Magners North of Ireland amateur championship yesterday at Royal Portrush, an event Jack covered for
the Telegraph for many, many years.
“I was deeply
saddened to hear of Jack’s passing,” he said.“He was a very good man who knew the game inside out and knew
what he was writing about.
to the game here will be sad to hear this news.”
Ivor McCandless, chairman
of the Ulster Branch of the GUI, said: “Jack was a great friend to the game of golf and will be greatly missed by everyone
who knew him.”
Well-known Belfast-born golf and boxing writer Jack Magowan has died suddenly at the age of 79.
Jack began work as a
sports journalist in the Belfast Telegraph in 1950 and covered mainly boxing, swimming and golf before retiring in 1991.
A member of the Clandeboye
and Belvoir Park golf clubs, Jack continued to pen articles and approached them with his usual quirky and well-informed style.
Jack covered numerous
Majors and Ryder Cup events as golf correspondent.
He also followed with
relish the boxing careers of many of Ulster's best fighters including Freddie Gilroy, John Caldwell, Barry McGuigan, Dave
McAuley, Hugh Russell and Wayne McCullough with a few of his own literary punches thrown in for good measure.
Jack also covered numerous
Olympic and Commonwealth Games for the Belfast Telegraph where he was known as an excellent journalist and sub-editor who
could turn his hand to any sport.
Jack was also personally
responsible for the former Ireland's Saturday Night sports edition of the Belfast Telegraph newspaper when it was in its heyday
three decades ago.
He was also a founding
member of the Belfast Press Golf Society and former chairman of the Irish Golf Writers. His witty metaphors and similes will
Jack is survived by
his wife Betty, son Simon and daughter Jane.
A TRIBUTE TO JACK DUDDY,
Jack Duddy, who has died at the age
of 90, was one of the founding fathers of the Press Golf Society more than 40 years ago and went on to donate trophies to
the society and become one of its most respected vice-presidents.
Jack had been the Gallaher PR manager
in Northern Ireland and, at the start of the Troubles, was a prime mover in bringing top-class golfers here for the Gallaher
The tournament was held at Shandon
Park from 1965-70, and Malone in 1971. It was something of a benefit for three-time winner Christy O'Connor, and another player
to shine was our esteemed president, Norman Drew.
Norman says: "It wasn't easy getting
the pros to come to Northern Ireland because of the Troubles, but Jack's persuasiveness and friendly manner achieved the feat.
"He was an absolute gentleman and will
be fondly remembered by many people in golf here and further afield."
Jack, who was a member of the Malone
and Royal County Down clubs, was also a great supporter of amateur golf and attended several Walker Cup matches at home and
in the United States.
Our deepest sympathy goes to Jack's
son, Barry, daughter-in-law Sandra and grandsons Fraser and Raymond.
|Past Captain John McAviney
It is with a genuine and deep sense of regret and a very weary heart, that
I have to inform you of the sad passing
of our friend, colleague and former
Captain John McAviney.
John had been ill for some time and bore
the problems and setbacks that
went with it in his own gutsy style with
a fortitude and optimism that was
astonishing to all. Even this year as he
was ill in The Mater Hospital
Dublin, he confided that he hoped to get
to along to Carton House to support
the Inter-Pro team as he thought it unlikely
he would be fit to play.
John was Captain of the society in 1994
- yes, it is that long ago - and
in his own words "had a fantastic year,
it has been an honour and a pleasure
to be Captain of this society that is 'well
got' everywhere we go.Throughout
the whole year the friendship and camaraderie
I had was brilliant."
A vote of thanks to John was proposed at
the AGM in 1994 by Norman Stockton
who said he had brought honour to the society
and in his 15 month Captaincy
he'd had to endure many difficulties such
as abusive heckling from Des Magee
and others. He felt John had dealt admirably
with such people and he was
generally a good person- for a Southerner!!
I note from records that John had also
hosted his Captain's Day at Clones
and picked, organised and led the PGS team
that entered the Multiple
Sclerosis charity at Tandragee the same
The following years AGM also contained
another gem when John declared,
during a discussion on the old chestnut
'when's the grub'- "Ah'm starving,
I could eat a horse's arse through a wicker
chair". He is also mentioned in
despatches for his performance at the Inter-Pro
competition at Cork in 1991
where he was the clear individual winner
points, this was the year that, ably assisted
by Ivan McMichael and Cyril
Troy in second and third places, we won
I am sorry that I cannot write more on
John and would be grateful for
anything that members wish to contribute,
the records do not show when John
joined the PGS but he was around at the
AGM in October of 1991 where he
signed those in attendance. Indeed the first
outing that I can see his name
at was Kirkistown on January 13th 1992.
He finished as overall runner up
with 34 points. After that his name appears
frequently on the winners
rostrum as it does against quite a few of
the trophy winners.
Being a recent (5 years) member of the
Press Golf Society, I have not known
John as well as most of you would have ,
when he was a regular face at the
Society outings. I did get to meet the long
talked about and legendary John
at Portnoo last year and he certainly was
the larger than life character
that I had heard about and a genuinely nice
guy with a wicked sense of
He had a good two days at Portnoo when
the sun shone and all was well with
the world, if not the golf. He teamed up
with his old friends Deric
Henderson, Ivan McMichael and Cyril Troy
and indeed that unholy quartet
adorned the front cover of this years fixture
list. He told me he had a
great time and asked for me to send on the
pictures that I had taken of
himself and his pals at Portnoo, which I
I also played nine holes with John, Frank
Johnston and Peter Russell at
Knock last year at George Hamilton's Captains
day and had an enjoyable time
before John confided that he felt tired
and was going to set off home. That
was the last time that we saw him.
I will be writing to the family on your
behalf and I will update you with
details of the funeral as soon as I get
them. A death notice has been placed
in the Monday edition of the Irish News
on your behalf.
Spare a few thoughts and prayers this festive
season for John as he would
have done for you, another passes away of
whom we will not see the like of
Rest in Peace................... MGM
I texted him a couple of months ago - which I did once
since he became ill, occasionally he would answer and
this time he did not.
I told him that recently I had been in Cork and had
passed Harbour Point Golf Club.
I told him that every minute of the second day
of the Inter-Pro competition in which I was captain came back that day. I remember standing anxiously by the 18th green awaiting
the last couple of cards. Ulster were in the lead but by nothing comfortable. John was, I think, the last but one to come
down the 18th in the singles.
He hit his second shot to the heart of the green.
As he came up on to the green my quizical glance at him to ascertain how he was doing was met with a smile and a double flash
of four fingers...... Forty-four points.
Ulster had won the cup for the second
time and by a record margin, then. I can remember eveything about it except the year. The only time previously that Ulster
had won was when Brendan McCann had captained the team.
By his daughter,
Cecil McCausland was born in Belfast
on 15th March 1930. The son of a professional soldier from Beragh, County Tyrone, his early years were spent living in parts
of the world such as India, Egypt and Hong King. These early experiences of rich cultural diversity laid the foundations for
his future life and his interest in culture history and his talent for a good picture.
On his return to Northern Ireland the
family lived in Tyrone before moving to the Shore Road in Belfast. Cecil’s involvement in the Scouting movement led
to his involvement with the Patricia Mulholland Irish dancing and a passion for dance which was to last throughout his life.
As part of the Belfast Folk Dance Society
and Patricia Mulholland’s Irish Ballet, he was a leading dancer and took part in international Folk Dancing teams.
His photographic talent was recognised
when he started work in the Northern Whig in his twenties. Learning his journalistic craft he joined the Newsletter as a photojournalist
but by his late twenties he had become part of the editorial team as a Picture Editor until his retirement in 1995.
This time-frame spanned the period
of the Northern Ireland “troubles” which Cecil, supported by his team of photographers including Bob Hamilton,
Randal Mulligan, Eddie Harvey and Trevor Dickson chronicled the story of the conflict through their photographs often risking
their lives a to bring a story to the public. Cecil was commended for his bravery in driving cars away from the firebombed
Newsletter building and was photographed on the roof of the building with a hosepipe trying to put out the fire before the
fire brigade arrived.
Cecil also enjoyed opportunities within
the Newsletter to seek out stories on the cultural history of Northern Ireland. One of his reminiscences was travelling with
a reporter in Fermanagh and discovering the ancient art of Mumming was thriving in the region.
Despite offers of employment from Fleet
Street where his talents were widely coveted, he was committed to the Northern Ireland media. His talent and the pivotal role
he played within the media was recognised in 1996 by the National Union of Journalists when they bestowed him with an Honorary
Throughout his life Cecil balanced
his career as a “Newspaperman” with his commitment to looking after his family and his other interests. Cecil
met his wife Elma through his love of Scottish Country Dancing and together they began a life partnership.
Following his retirement in 1995 Cecil
wasted no time in enjoying his new leisure time travelling across the world to Japan, Australia, America and Canada and through
his love of Scottish Dancing, making new friends wherever he went.
His “home” time was committed
to his family - his children Fiona and Andrew and his grandchildren Scott, Andrew, Alan, Matthew and Bethany, of whom he was
Cecil was diagnosed in 2010 with leukaemia
and despite initially responding well to treatment he died suddenly on 13 April 2011 in the City Hospital, Belfast. The funeral
service for Cecil will be held at 10 am at Roselawn Crematoriam on Tuesday 19th April 2011.