Belfast Telegraph

Funeral of respected sports writer David Holmes

By Cate McCurry

Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral of cricket writer David Holmes.

The 53-year-old Belfast man died suddenly on Sunday.

Around 300 people gathered for the service at Roselawn Cemetery yesterday.

Those attending included cricketers James Shannon and Shane Getkate, and president of Cricket Ireland Brian Walsh.

The father-of-two most recently reported for the News Letter, but had also written for the Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life on the sport he loved.

Educated at Royal Belfast Academical Institution, Holmes, who was an official in the Northern Cricket Union (NCU), played for Instonians.

He started writing about the game after hanging up his bat.

He pioneered social media cricket reporting and could be found tweeting regular scoreboard updates from all the local matches.

In a tribute, a spokesman for Instonians said the club had "lost a great friend".

Keith O'Donnell, one of his friends at Instonians, also paid tribute to him.

"Davy brought his pride, passion and commitment to Instonians Cricket Club and progressed through being a stalwart in the midweek team to captaining the 3rd XI to trophies.

"He was right in the middle of all the craic and banter in every team he played for, including bus trips to North Down, one of his favourite grounds.

"He was also the driving force behind the club tour to Barbados and although I was not able to go, I feel as if I might as well have been there, the amount of stories that have come back.

"Davy was right in the middle of everything by all accounts.

"When Davy stopped playing he began a period of remarkable coverage of cricket in the province and, although he had played for Instonians, he remained completely neutral and fair in his coverage of all teams."

Among those paying tribute during the funeral service was News Letter editor Alistair Bushe.

Tributes have also been flowing on social media since news of his passing.

Cricket Ireland said: "We're all shocked and heartbroken to learn of the passing of David Holmes.

"He was a shining light in cricket circles and always a joy to be around."

Belfast Telegraph

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