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Ballymena Olympic sprinter John McAdorey dies after illness

John McAdorey. Credit: BBC
John McAdorey. Credit: BBC

Ballymena sprinter John McAdorey has died at the age of 45 after an illness.

McAdorey represented Ireland in the 4x100m relay at the Sydney Olympic games in 2000.

He passed away at Belfast City Hospital's Cancer Centre on Wednesday.

Alongside Ballymena teammate Paul Brizzel, McAdorey was part of the relay team who set an Irish record of 39.26 seconds at the Olympic Games. The record still stands today.

After his Olympics appearance McAdorey won the Irish 100m title in 2001.

He retired from sport due to work commitments not long after, however he eventually returned in a coaching capacity.

Ex-Ireland team manager Patsy McGonagle told the BBC that the passing of McAdorey was "very sad news".

"He was a very popular member of the team," he said.

"He was on several teams when I was manager - most notably at the Sydney Olympics when the 4x100m relay squad set that national record which remains to this day.

"John was a very good team man. He started off in athletics quite young, then drifted away from the sport for a time but came back to become an Olympian and that was a tremendous achievement for him."

McAdorey's funeral will take place at Stevenson's Funeral Home in Ballymena at 2pm on Saturday. It will be followed by burial in Cullybackey New Cemetery.

A family death notice said that McAdorey would be "lovingly remembered by his sorrowing family and the entire family circle".

He is survived by partner Julie and children Conor and Callum.

Anyone wishing to pay tribute to McAdorey is asked to make a donation to cancer charity Melanoma UK.

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