ON the day that an NCU Legends side played a touring equivalent from Australia, the Sydney Classics, at Ballygomartin Road, Jackie Gaw, a Woodvale legend, passed away after a long illness. He was 71.

One of the great characters of NCU cricket, he would invariably greet everyone at the club with some banter – especially those of us who were only occasional visitors - but it was always without malice.

Originally from Donaghadee, Jackie joined Woodvale in his late teens after marrying a girl who lived beside the ground, and played until his late 40s, his last match the all-Woodvale Minor Cup final between the Fourths and the Fifths, but stories of his playing days are as legendary as his status.

A late-order batsman, his most famous innings was winning a game against Bangor when he hit Ireland international John Elder for six but the less said about his running between the wickets the better.

In one midweek match, he ran out four team-mates and the next man in was told to run out Jackie. The next wicket was indeed another run out, but it wasn’t Gaw!

The bar curator, even during his playing days, he was then club Secretary for more than 20 years, He was attending club meetings and watching the 1st XI in action up to five weeks ago, as vocal as ever.

An all-round sportsman, he played football for the 22nd Old Boys and was a single-handicap golfer but it was at Woodvale where his memory will live the longest.

He is survived by his son Anton, who played for Woodvale and Downpatrick, daughter Julie and four grandchildren.

On the field, the Legends won by six wickets with Uel Graham and Charlie McCrum each taking three wickets as the tourists were bowled out for 157 and in reply Michael Turkington and Alan Waite were both retired after reaching 40 and Uel Graham hit the winning boundary to finish 23 not out.