Malcolm Brodie’s name will live on in new Windsor
The new press box at the refurbished Windsor Park is set to named after the great Malcolm Brodie.
Tributes have flowed in from far and wide from the great and good of sport, his friends, colleagues and the general public since the legendary former sports editor of the Belfast Telegraph passed away on Tuesday night at the age of 86.
Malcolm, who reported at a record-breaking 14 World Cup finals, will never be forgotten by all those who knew him and read his work, much of which was produced in the existing press box at Windsor, covering thousands of Irish League games and hundreds of Northern Ireland internationals.
When the new Windsor Park is completed, in what will be a fitting memorial to this revered and respected figure, the area where he spent so much of his time and energy inspiring his colleagues will be called the Malcolm Brodie press box.
Already moves are under way within the Irish FA to make this happen and certainly there will be no objection from the football writers who would welcome such a development.
IFA President Jim Shaw said: “The idea of having the ‘Malcolm Brodie press box' is a wonderful one.
“Certainly I would be behind it 100 per cent.
“Given how many matches Malcolm covered around the globe and in particular at Windsor Park, it would be an appropriate tribute to this great man.”
The idea will be discussed at Irish FA board level.
It is understood that the stadium project costing £29.2 million will be finished and ready for operation in May or June 2015.
The first match at the new look Windsor will take place either around that time or in the autumn of that year, depending on the opposition available for Northern Ireland as the IFA are determined to open the stadium with a glamour fixture.
There have also been suggestions of a friendly match taking place involving big name clubs from Europe, though the IFA favour an international.
There will be an all-seater capacity of 18,000, with 75 seats available to the written press.
Another 75 will be used for the broadcast media and as overspill for newspapers journalists, if the demand is there.
Dr Malcolm Brodie MBE campaigned hard for years for better facilities for journalists at Irish League grounds and the media centre at the new Windsor will be state of the art.
Ironically the new press box at Windsor will be outside — Malcolm was always an objector to open air press boxes — but as part of the team advising the authorities on what was required for journalists, he would have been pleased that each seat will have a TV screen beside it and Wi-fi for quick access to the internet.
That's a huge difference to most of Malcolm's time when reporters had no action replays and used a telephone to send copy over to their respective desks rather than a laptop.
Meanwhile, there will be a tribute to Malcolm at all Irish League games tomorrow, with a minute’s silence followed by a minute’s applause, and next Wednesday the Northern Ireland players will wear black armbands during their friendly match in Malta.
When Northern Ireland next play at Windsor Park, in March against Russia in a World Cup qualifier, IFA President Shaw stated “an appropriate tribute will take place”.
Malcolm's funeral is on Monday, at Cregagh Presbyterian Church in east Belfast at 12 noon.