Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Paying tribute to Malcolm Brodie

By Steven Beacom

It is hard to believe that it will soon be a year since the legendary former Belfast Telegraph Sports Editor Malcolm Brodie passed away.

Malcolm's dear family miss him most of all.

Sports lovers all over Northern Ireland and beyond miss him too and his words of wisdom in print about the latest goings on in the Irish League or the international scene.

How Malcolm would have relished writing a tribute about his friend and one of his favourite players, Portugal's great striker Eusebio, who died earlier this month.

He watched and marvelled at Eusebio's scoring ability during the 1966 World Cup finals, won of course by England.

That was one of 14 World Cups attended by the doyen of football writers. No one else has ever been to more. The first was in 1954 in Switzerland and the last one in Germany 2006.

Sitting beside him in the press box in Berlin, I remember Malcolm being stunned when another of his favourites, French star Zinedine Zidane, was sent off against Italy in the final after headbutting an opponent.

Malcolm was awarded the Jules Rimet Trophy by Fifa as the journalist who covered more World Cup finals than any other. Jim Boyce, now Fifa's Vice-President, made the presentation in the Belfast Telegraph boardroom.

He was also presented with an MBE for services to journalism and an honorary doctorate by the University of Ulster.

Malcolm was a regular at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards. Normally the prizes are handed out to sporting stars, coaches and administrators, but true to form this most respected of journalists won an award several years ago at the ceremony for his services to sport.

At Monday's Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards, celebrating Northern Ireland sporting achievements from 2013, there will be an award named in honour of Malcolm.

The coveted Player of the Year prize, with his family's blessing, has been renamed the Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year award and will go to a sporting star who shines here at home in Northern Ireland and across the globe.

Footballers, rugby players, cricketers, GAA players, motorcyclists, boxers and athletes from other sports have all been nominated for the award in the past.

It is always one of the most competitive categories at the Tele Awards, which have Linwoods as the title sponsor, and that is the case once again for the 2013 prize.

We are delighted that members of Malcolm's family will be in attendance on Monday night at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast.

Previously, we named an award after George Best, Northern Ireland's greatest footballer.

You just know Malcolm, who joined the Belfast Telegraph in 1943 and started the sports desk at the newspaper, will feel comfortable in that company.

Malcolm, still writing up to his untimely death at the age of 86, knew everyone in the world of sport and loved telling stories at gatherings such as the glittering one that will take place on Monday.

Belfast Telegraph Group Sports Editor Jim Gracey said: “Malcolm was a giant at the Belfast Telegraph and in his profession. When you walked through the press centres at the World Cups everyone knew him, people like Pele and Bobby Charlton... he was on first name terms with them. The man was beyond a legend.

“We felt it appropriate that a prestigious award be named after him at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards.”

Magilton praises the qualities of youngsters

Jim Magilton knows a thing or two about young talent. He should do... he's the Irish FA's Elite Performance Director, charged with inspiring the finest teenage footballers in the country to make the grade professionally and become key players for the Northern Ireland senior team in the future.

This is what Jim, who won 52 caps, had to say about the winners of the Young Team of the Year at last year's Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards.

“The boys epitomise what is great about football and the qualities it can bring — honesty, respect, camaraderie, work ethic and joy.”

Magilton was speaking about the St Oliver Plunkett Youth 1997s football club, managed by Steven Lynch, who took home the Young Team of the Year prize and enjoyed themselves at the ceremony, collecting autographs from Northern Ireland's sporting personalities.

The Young Team of the Year award, sponsored by Geoghegan Conservatory Conversions, always receives scores of nominations from the public.

If you wish to attend the Tele's Sports Awards on Monday at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast, you can book tickets by contacting JPR on 02890 760066.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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