Paddy Allen, one of the best-known characters in NCU cricket, has died suddenly.
Waringstown player and supporter Paddy, who was 35, had attended villagers’ NCU Premier League game with North Down on Saturday.
Waringstown’s Irish Cup tie against Instonians at The Lawn, scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed as a mark of respect.
News of Paddy’s passing was greeted with shock and sadness across social media on Sunday morning.
Waringstown issued a statement saying: “Waringstown Cricket Club is very sad to announce that popular player and loyal supporter Paddy Allen has passed away. Everyone at the club is devastated at the news of Paddy’s passing. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”
Paddy played for Waringstown after moving from his boyhood Lurgan. He was a member of in the rugby club at Pollock Park.
A loyal Glenavon Football Club supporter and a keen golfer, he represented Waringstown for many years, particularly in the third and fourth elevens, and in the successful midweek team.
Other clubs have paid their tributes to Paddy, with CIYMS tweeting that he was a “big character who will be missed in both NCU and Irish League circles”.
Carrickfergus member and Ulster Unionist MLA John Stewart tweeted that “Paddy was a real character on and off the field. My thoughts are with his family and everyone at Waringstown CC at this hugely difficult time”.
Ian Callender, former News Letter cricket correspondent, said: “Devastating news from @WaringstownCC this morning with the death of Paddy Allen. Obviously today’s Irish Cup quarter-final against Instonians has been postponed. Sincere condolences to Paddy’s family and everyone at Warinsgtown - and @Glenavon_FC where he was a regular supporter”
Paddy also formerly did freelance work at the News Letter.
News Letter editor Alistair Bushe said: “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.”