Botham brings carnival atmosphere

Ian Botham in Lurgan in 1987. INLM3212-204
Ian Botham in Lurgan in 1987. INLM3212-204
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CRICKETER Ian Botham brought a carnival atmosphere to Lurgan town centre in 1987 during his charity walk from Belfast to Dublin.

Crowds filled the streets to welcome the England all rounder.

Many firms, shops and offices had organised their own collections to help swell the coffers,

From the outskirts of the town the pavements were lined with well wishers who cheered the Botham entourage on its way.

With him were his wife Kathy, Northern Ireland footballer Gerry Armstrong and England cricketer Mike Gatting.

People who did not know one end of a cricket bat from another turned out to see him.

As he passed Waringfield Hospital near Moira the nurses brought some elderly patients to the roadside to see him.

In Maralin and Dollingstown it was the same with the villagers turning out in force as he passed.

And he was given a standing ovation when he made an appearance at a Sportsman’s Dinner being held at Pollock Park.

There was a surprise for Ian when he was presented with a cheque for £2,000, the proceeds of the dinner, towards his fundraising for Leukaemia Research.