Poignant tributes paid to former pupil and teacher

Family members and friends gathered to pay tribute.
Family members and friends gathered to pay tribute.

Ahead of the 2019 Schools’ cricket season, a poignant ceremony took place at the Hollinger Park pitch in Ballyclare.

The late Trevor Martin and John Thompson were remembered with the installation of memorial benches and plaques at the Rashee Road site.

Family members including Richard, Craig and Ashley Martin; as well as Simon Thompson and Nora Campbell were in attendance. Trevor’s ex-teaching and fellow cricketing umpiring colleagues Irvine Richardson, Richard Wallace, Rodger McCune and Tom Stewart along with current staff members and cricketing umpires Michael Nutt, Gareth Lenaghan, Austin Millar, Alan Wilson and James Corry were also there.

Dr Rainey (Principal), Robert McMillian (Board of Governors Chair), along with Wilbur Hollinger expressed their gratitude that so many past colleagues could attend.

John Thompson was a formidable all-rounder, opening the bowling and batting for the first XI between 1978-1979. In the Ulster Schools’ Cup match away to Royal School Armagh, John and the U15 player Stephen Watt opened the batting to chase down the RS Armagh total without loss.

Simon Thompson recollected that he was batting at number, 3 but did not mind not getting to the crease as he witnessed his big brother score 94 runs undefeated. This was a batting master class that was to hold the first XI School batting record for 32 years.

Richard Martin spoke of his father’s constant gratitude and praise for the school as an ICT teacher, Vice-Principal and cricket coach and umpire. He thanked Dr Rainey and Dr McMillian in the Board of Governors for providing such a lovely memorial bench and for those involved in organising the ceremony. He expressed his deep gratitude on behalf of his family for the support they received during their father’s illness and which continues to this day.

It is envisaged other memorial or family benches will be installed at Hollinger Park and enquires can be made to the Ballyclare High General Office.