Former NI captain McDonald laid to rest
The funeral of former Northern Ireland captain Alan McDonald has taken place in Ballygowan.
Thursday, 28 June 2012
The Belfast man, who also captained Queens Park Rangers before retiring from playing and then managed Glentoran for a time, collapsed while taking part in Captain's Day at Temple Golf Club last Saturday.
The funeral service at noon on Thursday was conducted by the Reverend Brian Black and a host of sporting names turned out to pay their respects to the man the IFA called "a true gentleman and Northern Ireland legend".
Former Northern Ireland stars Pat Jennings, Gerry Armstrong, Iain Dowie and Keith Gillespie were in attendance, alongside managers past and present - namely Sammy McIlroy, Nigel Worthington and Michael O'Neill.
Sports presenter Jackie Fullerton took part in the service.
QPR released a statement saying their thoughts were with the McDonald family and sent a floral tribute for their former captain in the form of a club shirt which said: "Rest In Peace Macca. A true QPR legend."
Alan McDonald is fondly remembered as one of the few people who have had the chance to play for Northern Ireland in a World Cup, having featured in their 1986 campaign in Mexico.
As a young lad, you looked up to people like that. I was lucky enough to have the honour to work with him, to be in his company and to call him a friend.
He resigned as Glentoran manager in February 2010, having been at the helm of the Oval club since June 2007.
"Not too many people have played in the World Cup and not too many people have captained their country," former Glentoran player Gary Hamilton told UTV, in the wake of the weekend's tragic news.
Following the service at Ballygowan Presbyterian Church, Mr McDonald was laid to rest at a separate private family service.