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Lisnagarvey club mourns the loss of true Blue Howdy

Ulster hockey - and the Lisnagarvey club in particular - are mourning the passing of one of its greatest stalwarts, Howard Clarke.

Howdy, as he was affectionately known, was in his 88th year.

He served as club secretary at the Lisburn club for many years and was one of those involved in Garvey's two big moves - from Blaris to Sprucefield in the Ninties and then to Hillsborough's Comber Road in the Noughties.

The first sale, to Marks and Spencer, enabled Garvey to put down the first synthetic pitch in Ulster, just across the road from Blaris.

And later they sold that too to move out to Hillsborough where they have two water-based pitches, a fine clubhouse, and some of the best facilities in Ireland.

Known as a true blue by his club, he was considered a true gentleman by many in Ulster hockey.

As well as his secretarial duties, Howdy was often seen manning the gate on match days.

Indeed, after his lengthy stint as secretary, Howdy was appointed Club Patron in recognition of his hard work down through the years.

He also served on Ulster hockey's Council, and ground committee, for many years and later became a recipient of the Torch Trust awards.

He is survived by his wife Heather, daughters Fiona and Heather and sons Donald and Colin to whom deepest sympathy is extended.

Colin, of course, had a distinguished career as a player with Garvey and now coaches in Scotland and GB.

The funeral takes place this morning at Christ Church, Lisburn at 11am.


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