PAST and present cricket players gathered for a charity match to remember one of their own much-loved team-mates.
Members of Portsmouth and Southsea and Bedhampton Mariners cricket clubs met for a 20-over game in a touching tribute to Allen McBride, a 46-year-old taxi driver and father-of-three.
Allen, who lived in Copnor and played for both cricket clubs, died of a sudden heart condition when he was driving to work on January 25.
As reported in The News, Allen’s car veered off the road at the junction of Cobden Avenue and Chesterfield Road, knocking down a wall.
The game took place in the grounds of St James’ Hospital in Milton and money was raised for the British Heart Foundation charity.
Allen had been an avid cricketer since he was 13 and had played for both the Portsmouth and Southsea and Bedhampton Mariners clubs.
Allen’s brother Peter said the teams at the charity match were made up of players who knew his brother.
Speaking at the match, he said: ‘All 22 people here today would have at some point played with Allen.’
Among those present were members of Portsmouth and Southsea’s division-winning side of 2002.
Peter said Allen was a competitive player with a mean left-hand bowl.
He said: ‘He played to win, like his dad.
‘I can remember one story about when he went to play in a six-a-side game in Hayling.
‘The game started at 9.30am and by 9.45am the batsman was already out having tea.
‘After Allen’s bowl the stump actually flew out of the ground and cartwheeled.’
Allen’s mum Patricia said her son was a popular man who never missed an opportunity to play his favourite game.
She said: ‘Everybody knew him. Cricket was his world.
‘They only had to ring him up and say “There’s a game on” and he’d be there.’