Hockey fraternity’s shock at sudden loss of Kilkeel club stalwart

John Charleton of Kilkeel Hockey Club

John Charleton of Kilkeel Hockey Club

The Ulster hockey fraternity has been shocked at the death of a popular figure in south Down.

John Charleton had been a member of Kilkeel Hockey Club for 45 years and was an ever-present supporter of everything that the club was involved in.

It is understood Mr Charleton - who lived at Mountain Road in the town - died suddenly on Friday.

On Saturday, club president John Bird said it had been “an unbelievable couple of days.”

He said: “The hole this will leave in the hockey club we can not imagine.”

In a tribute to his friend and fellow club member, Mr Bird said: “It is with deep regret and sadness that Kilkeel Hockey Club are writing this.

“The club members would like to extend their heart held and heart felt sympathy to the family circle of Mr John Charleton on his untimely passing.

“John was a lifetime member of KHC for 45 years, an ever present sight on the sideline or in the dugout and always cheering on the teams.

“He never failed on his match reports and dedication to both the club and its members. The entire club is devastated at this sad news.”

Mr Bird added: “He will be sorely missed by everyone and a hockey game for Kilkeel will never be the same without him.

“JC a true legend.”

Mr Charleton’s funeral will be from his brother David’s home at 7 Ballymartin Village, Kilkeel on Sunday at 2.30 pm, before a service in Christ Church, Kilkeel.