Ronnie Faulkner, Strabane C.C. and NWCU

Widespread sadness will be mixed with affectionate remembrance as the news of Ronnie Faulkner’s sudden passing at his home in Ballymoney spreads across the North West region.

Nowhere will those emotions be more keenly expressed than in his native Strabane.

Born in Patrick Street, he represented the town with distinction in rugby and hockey in a long career but it will be for his prowess with the cricket bat that he will be remembered with pride and admiration.

During the 50’s and 60’s, he was undoubtedly the blue-eyed boy of the Strabane batting line-up and played a starring role in the League Championship victories of 1959 and 1968 as well as being part of the glorious double team of 1966.

His loss will be particularly felt among the club’s team of groundsmen, all of whom were close team mates during those productive years - Paddy Gillespie, Wilfred Mortimore, John Beattie and Joe Deans.

Ronnie was a prolific scorer at no. 3 or no. 4 and also figured in many partnerships with Billy Quinn, George ‘Rusty’ Browne, Vic Craig, Jackie McCoubrey, John Devine and, of course, the Donaghey brothers, Brendan and Daniel.

He was not only a gifted and wristy stroke player but also a brilliant cover fielder and a tenacious competitor at all times.

He represented the North West on many occasions and was a member of the historic Guinness Cup team of 1966 that won the very first inter-provincial championship under the astute and inspirational captaincy of Eglinton’s Scott Huey.

Strabane has lost one of its greatest and most admired sporting heroes. His memory will shine brightly as long as the great sport of cricket is played in Strabane.

We were always proud of Ronnie, we still are and we always will be.

May his noble soul rest in peace.