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Gentleman John Caldwell will be missed

By Ian Callender

John Caldwell, who died on holiday in Grenada at the age of 75 last Friday, was one of the most influential administrators in both the Northern Cricket Union and Cricket Ireland.

The popular Ballymena gentleman - he was never just a man - took an active role in both the cricket and rugby clubs at Eaton Park, giving many years' service since his playing days with the club in the early 1960s.

While an avid rugby fan and a keen cricketer, it was as a cricket official that he will be fondly remembered. A natural chairman, he held that office in the NCU in 1996-97 and at the old Irish Cricket Union from 2000-2002 before becoming NCU president in 2004 and of Cricket Ireland in 2008, but the role of president is largely accepted as a figurehead and it was when he was chairman that he led the decision-makers.

At Cricket Ireland level he was the architect of the first two Strategic Plans which transformed the body into a professional outfit on and off the field. He was instrumental in appointing Adrian Birrell as Ireland coach in 2002, the start of Ireland's route to the top of the Associate tree.

Even after his days in office, John was a regular tourist, usually with beloved wife Nan, following Ireland around the world and I valued and enjoyed his company on those trips. I, like many others including his friends Roy Torrens, Robin Walsh and Alfie Linehan, will miss you, John.

Belfast Telegraph


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