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High-flying tribute to Alan MCDonald takes off

By Gerard Walton

Published 22/08/2012

The late former Northern Ireland captain, Alan McDonald has earned a season-long tribute on the side of an AirAsia airbus.

The airline's owner Tony Fernandes is also chairman of Queens Park Rangers, and this was his idea of a memorial for club folk hero McDonald, who spent 17 years — making over 500 appearances — at Loftus Road.

McDonald died suddenly while playing at Temple golf club in June, aged 48, prompting tributes from all over the world.

The Airbus A320 is painted in QPR colours, features McDonald's name on the side, and has facts on both the player and the club inscribed in the cabin.

On an overhead locker there is a picture of the tough-tackling defender up against the current QPR manager Mark Hughes, who at the time played for Manchester United.

AirAsia are QPR's kit sponsors for the 2012/13 season.

The impressive aircraft was used for their pre-season tour of Asia.

Belfast Telegraph

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