Tributes paid to sporting pair

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TRIBUTES were paid to two sporting figures from the Craigavon area who died recently when the borough council met on Monday evening.

The Mayor, Councillor Alan Carson, referred first of all to motorcyclist Wayne Hamilton who died in a crash on the Isle of Man.

“Wayne had a very big future in front of him,” said the Mayor. “He won the Manx Grand Prix and I’m told that was an excellent achievement for such a young rider. He will be a great loss to the borough.”

Councillor Carson sent his condolences to the Hamilton family and also to the family of former snooker referee Lurgan man Len Ganley.

“He was known world wide and worked very hard for charity,” added the Mayor.

Councillor Ronnie Harkness said Wayne Hamilton had made his debut in racing in 2009 and in his short career had recorded victories on the TT course.

He added that over 150 bikers had escorted the hearse carrying Wayne Hamilton home.

“Motorcycling is a dangerous sport,” he said. “The participants recognise those dangers but accept them.”

Referring to Len Ganley Councillor Harkness said that those who followed snooker here in the 1980s would look to see if Denis Taylor or Alex Higgins was playing and then look to see if Len Ganley was refereeing.

“He was a referee and a personality at the same time,” he commented.

Alderman Stephen Moutray also offered his condolences to the families.

He said that Len Ganley did so much for sport and for charity.

“He represented everything that was good about the sport he loved and his home town of Lurgan,” he added.

Councillor Johnny McGibbon said he grew up a short distance from Len Ganley’s brother and he would see Len when he came to visit.

“He had personalised number plates on his car and as young people we thought this was great,” he added.

For full obituary for Len Ganley see page 13.