The village of Broughshane and the wider Ballymena area has lost a true character and a well loved personality with the passing of Mr. Ian Douglas (71).
Ian, the fourth oldest in a family of 12, passed away on March 3.
He lived at Main Street in Broughshane where his home was known to all as the ‘halfway house’ because he had so many visitors who simply called in to pass the time of day - and to talk football!
Ian was an ardent follower of Glasgow Rangers FC, For him there was ‘no other team’ and he followed the famous Scottish team with total passion. He had many friends in Scotland and some time ago, when he was ill and in hospital he counted Ally McCoist and Water Smith amongst his visitors.
Having attended Broughshane Primary until the age of 14, Ian took his first job at Raceview Woollen Mill where he served as an apprentice joiner before going to Gallaher’s, Lisnafillan.
From there he moved to Britton’s Shoe Factory where he played for the football team. His last job was at Ballymena Boys’ High School where he was caretaker.
Aside from football, Ian will be well remembered as a pigeon fancier, writing about the sport under the pen-name of ‘The Grizzle’.
He will be fondly remembered for his great sense of fun but he will also be known as a man who gave a great deal back to the community, especially in the help he gave to senior citizens.
Ian spent a lot of time working behind the scenes on behalf of older people and it was for his kindliness and good nature that he was to acquire the informal title of ‘Mayor of Broughshane’.