Tribute to Malcolm Brodie on Mary Peters track
The late, great Malcolm Brodie has been honoured with a permanent memorial at the sporting legacy he helped create and supported for almost 40 years .
The press room at the newly refurbished Mary Peters Track has been named in memory of the legendary Belfast Telegraph Sports Editor, who passed away in January this year, aged 86.
History famously records Malcolm as a driving force behind the construction of the Track in recognition of his great friend and confidante Dame Mary Peters' 1972 pentathlon Olympic Gold at the Munich Games. It remains Northern Ireland's sole Olympic track and field gold to this day.
Memories of that achievement and Malcolm's response in helping Dame Mary realise her dream of a Track for future generations brought family, friends and former colleagues to the South Belfast natural ampitheatre yesterday for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque and inscribed photograph of the doyen of Northern Ireland sports journalism.
Dame Mary again recounted the story of how Malcolm tracked her down to a Bavarian mountain restaurant celebration hours after her gold medal victory in Munich.
"Malcolm asked what the people of Northern Ireland could give me as a gift and I replied a Track, so no pressure then," recalled Mary.
A Telegraph campaign backing a personal fund-raising drive by Dame Mary resulted in delivery of the Track four years later and more recently, a new, improved international standard 6-lane arena, complete with grandstand and floodlighting was provided by Belfast City Council.
"It all began with that phone call. Many people played a part but Malcolm's role was pivotal," Dame Mary acknowledged.
The Council's Jim Rodgers, a longtime friend and admirer of Malcolm's work, performed the opening honours with tributes also paid by son Stephen Brodie, Dame Mary and former colleagues Jackie Fullerton, BBC, and Jim Gracey, Belfast Telegraph Group Sports Editor.