Northern Ireland’s ‘Mr Football’ inducted into Belfast Sports Awards Hall of Fame

By March 12, 2012News, Newsroom

Legendary sports journalist Dr Malcolm Brodie MBE was honoured by his adopted city on March 8, 2012 when he was inducted into the Belfast Sports Awards Hall of Fame.

Affectionately known to his colleagues as ‘Malky’ the Glasgow-born sportswriter is the most famous football reporter in Northern Ireland covering an amazing 14 World Cups during his career.

He was one of five sportspeople to be inducted into the Belfast Sports Awards Hall of Fame during a glittering awards ceremony at Belfast City Hall organised by the Belfast Community Sports Development Network (BCSDN) on behalf of Belfast City Council.

The other inductees included Olympic medal-winning athlete Thelma Hopkins, Belfast snooker player Joe Swail  and Olympic boxing silver medallist John McNally. There was also a posthumous award for celebrated boxing coach Akkie Kelly, who founded the Star Boxing Club in North Belfast.

Mr Brodie said: “This is a proud moment and one that reflects not only on me but my fellow journalists who worked with me to ensure that sport in Northern Ireland was given its proper place as part of our culture. I feel that sportswriters and the media had a major role to play in ensuring normality in the city during the trauma of civil unrest.

“Belfast, indeed the whole of Northern Ireland, has a wonderful record in producing sports stars down through the decades and to be included among this list of names is something special and I thoroughly appreciate it.”

Fellow inductee Thelma Hopkins, broke the women’s high jump record in Belfast in 1954 and was a gold medallist in the Commonwealth Games in the same year. She won the silver medal in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. She now lives in Canada so was unable to attend the ceremony.

Deputy Lord Mayor Ruth Patterson congratulated all the winners and wished all those Belfast athletes competing in this summer’s Olympics the best of luck.

“These awards celebrate the often unseen work of the coaches and volunteers who give up so much of their time to work with young people so they can realise their sporting potential. They also recognise the achievements both past and present of the athletes who have built Belfast’s sporting reputation,” she added.

Tom Scott, Chairman of BCSDN said it was appropriate that the Awards night was taking place on International Women’s Day 2012.

“Twelve of the 24 awards have been presented to female athletes, volunteers and coaches. This is a testament to the immense contribution that women have made to the sporting life of Belfast,” he added.

With the London 2012 Olympics fast approaching, some of Belfast’s greatest Olympians and Paralympians attended the awards.

They included John McNally who won boxing silver in the 1952 games in Helsinki and Colin Boreham, who represented Great Britain in Decathlon at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Also attending was Angela Hendra MBE, who won seven medals in the Paralympic Games in table tennis and bowling from1972 to1984 and Michael McKillop, who won gold in the 800 metres for Ireland in the Paralympic games in Beijing