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Malcolm Brodie's funeral in Belfast

Malcolm Brodie, MBE, who died last week aged 86.

The funeral of veteran sports journalist Malcolm Brodie has taken place in Belfast.

Monday, 04 February 2013
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  • football
  • News

Brodie, who was best known for his extensive World Cup coverage, passed away last week at the age of 86.

Manchester United legend Harry Gregg, ex-NI international goalkeeper Pat Jennings, FIFA vice president Jim Boyce, blind waterskiing champion Janet Gray and Olympics legend Dame Mary Peters were among the high profile mourners at Cregagh Presbyterian Church in east Belfast.

Dame Mary recalled how he was instrumental in the creation of the track bearing her name.

While working at the Belfast Telegraph, he began a campaign to honour Mary for her Olympic achievements.

They shared another dream, she told the congregation, which was the creation of a sports museum in Northern Ireland to honour past heroes and heroines and to inspire future generations.

"We, the committee, are determined that that will happen," she said, revealing that a library will now be created at the museum, in Malcolm Brodie's memory, inspired by his love of books."

She added: "He was a unique man. He inspired so many generations. To know him was to love him."

Sport and football was our kingdom and Malcolm was our king.

Jim Gracey

Belfast Telegraph's Sports Editor Jim Gracey said: "He was sharp, incisive, fiercely competitive, unerringly accurate and his credibility was beyond question."

The much respected journalist reported on 14 World Cup finals since he began covering the global sporting event in 1954 - more than any other journalist - and was awarded the Jules Rimet Trophy by FIFA for his efforts.

He also never missed a Northern Ireland match - home or away - from 1946 to 2009.

Originally from Scotland, Brodie was evacuated during the Second World War from Glasgow to Portadown, Co Armagh, where he began his career in journalism.

He joined the Belfast Telegraph in 1943 when he saw a vacancy for a copy taker advertised and later, set up the paper's first sports desk before becoming Sports Editor.

His services to journalism were recognised down through the years with numerous awards, including an MBE.

His three sons and granddaughter sat beside his widow Margaret during the funeral service, which was followed by a private committal at Roselawn Crematorium.