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Dixon Rose, who has passed away aged 88, was a terrific servant to hockey and cricket

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Dixon Rose

Dixon Rose

Dixon Rose

Cricket and hockey could contest which Dixon Rose served most during a lifetime devoted to the two sports but he will be missed in both after his death at the age of 88.

As a player Dixon was undoubtedly better at hockey, capped 14 times as a centre half for Ireland, including one as captain and 104 appearances for Ulster, leading the side on 20 occasions.

He went on to be Irish Hockey Union president from 1985-87, serving on the executive for 22 years from 1979 and he was also a selector for 13 years.

At provincial level he served on the Ulster Branch from 1958, becoming president in 1979-80 and was secretary of Cliftonville Hockey Club before, fittingly becoming secretary of the Cliftonville Cricket and Hockey Clubs from 1965-72.

One of his proudest achievements was keeping Cliftonville Hockey Club going during the height of the Troubles when it was “driven out” of their home.

The great Denis Compton was his idol on the cricket field and Instonians was his club.

On the field he was a determined opening batsman who is now the club’s second leading run scorer (the leading right-hander, he still insists) and sometime captain of Ulster Town in the old Guinness Cup (the forerunner to the present Inter-provincials) but it was as administrator that he will be remembered for in this sport.

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A Member of the NCU Executive from 1963-88, he never achieved high office in his own union but was Irish Cricket Union president in 1984 when he infamously praised the groundstaff for their hard-work at Rathmines during the one-day match against the West Indies. He was also an Irish selector for two years at the start of the 1980s.

His final years at Shaw’s Bridge, the current home of Instonians, were spent as groundsman, devoting endless hours to the maintenance of the square and outfield.

Educated at Royal Belfast Academical Institute, he and his younger brother (by two years and three days) Carson came from a family with a hockey tradition, their father Andrew was president of the IHU in 1932, so it was almost inevitable Dixon would follow in his footsteps.

Paying tribute, current Instonians chairman Norman Shannon said: “He was a wonderful supporter of the cricket club, a great wit and as the late David Holmes said, “Instonians royalty”.

A minute’s silence will be held before all Instonians matches today.


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