Carrickfergus officials have paid tribute to former president and wicketkeeper Gordon Browne, describing the father-of-two as ‘an inspiration’.
The 42-year-old lost his brave battle with cancer on Monday morning, two years after first falling ill during an NCU Challenge Cup tie against Muckamore at Moylena.
Gordon was later diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent surgery and courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
It was eventually confirmed he had high grade Glioblastoma.
Despite his diagnosis, Gordon returned to cricketing action in June 2017 and played for the club’s second eleven in the Intermediate Cup final.
A club statement by Carrickfergus described the sense of loss as ‘complete devastation’.
“It is with complete devastation that we learned of the passing of our much-loved President Gordon (Gordy) Browne,” it read. “The word Legend is often used but rarely warranted but the term could not be more apt for Gordon.
“He joined the club in 1986 at the age of 10, when he was a pupil at Woodlawn Primary School, and was one of Snehal Parikh’s original intake when he became the club’s first professional that year.
“A batsman/wicketkeeper, he played for the club’s youth teams for a number of years and worked his way into the club’s adult teams at the same time as his great friend Ryan Eagleson, with whom he played for the NCU Under 18s in 1994.
“He had made his 1st XI debut for Carrick in 1993, the club’s first season in the old Section 2, and was a regular in the side until 2001, scoring over 1400 runs including a highest score of 77 v RUC in 1994.
“He decided to see the world before marriage and a career move to Brussels with the Civil Service saw cricket take a back seat for 13 years.
“Gordy returned to work in Northern Ireland with his wife and two young daughters in 2013, and soon re-joined the cricket club.
“He became the 1st XI’s regular wicketkeeper in 2014, and was delighted to be part of the side that won four trophies that year.
“He continued to play until 18th June 2016, when his on-field collapse at Muckamore sadly ended his cricket career with the grim diagnosis of a brain tumour.
“Gordon was elected as the club’s president at the 2016 Annual General Meeting, a position he still held with great pride at the time of his sad passing.
“Gordy loved life and his enthusiasm even when he was feeling poorly was an inspiration to everyone who met him and those of us lucky enough to have spent some wonderful evenings in his company.
“The club has been inundated with messages of condolences from Gordy’s friends from all over the world and we would like to thank each and every one of you for your kind thoughts.
“Gordy had expressed his wishes that he wanted to fund raise in aid of Brainwaves N.I. and anyone wishing to donate in his memory can do so at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Gillian-Hunt2.
“We know Gordy would appreciate that.”
A celebration of his life was planned for Wednesday night in the clubhouse.