Glenavon striker Andrew Mitchell has paid an emotional tribute to Paddy Allen, the Glenavon Football Club and Waringstown Cricket Club supporter who died this weekend.
The Waringstown Cricket Club and Glenavon fanatic was just 35.
Mitchell and Moira man Paddy played cricket together, winning the NCU Minor Cup for Waringstown’s third eleven in 2008.
Paddy attended Mitchell’s wedding to Carly just a few days ago.
Writing on Facebook, Mitchell said: “I can’t believe the tragic news I received today...11 years ago I met an absolute gentleman in Paddy Allen . We clicked straight away, playing for Waringstown CC Third XI, winning the Minor Cup in 2008. We both also shared a love of Glenavon FC and you always could be heard giving encouragement at the side of the pitch. You always supported Carly and the girls at Lurgan Ladies HC and I loved standing beside you chatting watching the games!
“I can say that in that 11 years Paddy was a true friend who always looked out for me and supported me. When times were tough Paddy was there to pick you up and back you no matter what. He was such a kind, caring and genuine man,” said Mitchell.
“Carly and I were so happy to have you at our wedding on Thursday big man. You were the life and soul of the party your company made our night! I will never forget those moments. I will miss you terribly mate! You were an absolute legend.”❤️
Paddy, who lived in Moira, also worked freelance shifts for the News Letter.
Editor Alistair Bushe wrote this tribute: “Like everyone involved in local cricket, I’m deeply shocked at the news of Paddy’s passing.
“Local cricket will be much poorer without him on the sidelines, supporting Waringstown with his trademark enthusiasm, but also appreciating good cricket from whichever team it came from. He truly was a real character who loved his sport,” he said.
“Several things stood out for me with Paddy in terms of his love for Waringstown in particular. He had this enduring positivity, no matter how desperate the situation Waringstown seemed to be in Paddy always retained his belief that they would prevail and more often than not he was right. He was an encouraging presence on the boundary, and I know the successful Waringstown teams really appreciated his strong support.
“He was the same at Mourneview Park. He backed Glenavon to the hilt no matter what.”