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Brian McNally RIP

For those friends and former colleagues wishing to pay tribute to Brian McNally, who sadly passed away earlier this week at the age of 76, the details are:

3pm on Friday 5th July 2024 Tynemouth Crematorium, Walton Avenue, North Shields, NE29 9NJ


Our friend Brian sadly died in North Tyneside Hospital on Monday 17th June with his wife, Gill, and sister, Ann, at his bedside. Since last September he had suffered increasing pain and discomfort from heart disease.

Many of you will remember the columns he penned for our North East Irish Community News. More will recall him as a celebrated football writer, travelling the world to report for the winner on big games including Ireland’s victory over Italy in New York 1994.

He was recognised by his fellow professionals when he won many awards, including WE Journalist of the Year. He also represented them, being an officer of the NUJ since his early days on the Sunderland Echo. Fans loved him too and the Football Fans Federation gave him their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He wasn’t always popular with the club’s owners though and he was even banned from Roker Park and SFP. Kevin Keegan was not too pleased either when Brian broke the story of his resignation on TV.

Writing about his friend, Ray Ryan (News of the World), he said: “We were both working class products of Irish fathers with our politics very left of centre. That almost sums him up but it is impossible to do so in so few words.”

Some of you will have been in the TIC when John Charlton received the Irish government’s award on behalf of Jack. Brian spoke with such eloquence showing his pride in his Irish heritage and, of course, his precious passport.

In conclusion, allow me to quote the obituary from the Sports Journalists Association:

“His passion, talent and dedication have left an indelible impression on these who had the pleasure of reading his copy. His unique voice and perspective will be sorely missed but his legacy will live through the countless lives he touched.”

Our sincerest condolences to Gill and Brian’s family and many friends.


Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

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