Cookstown community all the poorer for the passing of Leslie

Leslie Hall
Leslie Hall
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Killymoon Rangers Football Club over the years has taken many a knock and had many setbacks, none more so than the news last week of the sad death of chairman Leslie Hall.

Tribute to one of Cookstown’s most respected club officials, written by former player and manager of the Killymoon club David Brown.

Leslie was a straight talker and he did not suffer fools easily and this was often reflected in some of the committee meetings that were often interesting, to say the least.

Leslie had been involved with the football club from its early beginnings in 1971 and how fitting it is that his time should end with him being chairman. If you cut Leslie, after all the Manchester United red had run out, he would have bled the blue of Killymoon.

The club was always in his blood and he remained loyal to it, apart from the times when his workload was too much or when he was recently looking after his elderly parents.

When they both passed on, he was back doing what he loved so much and only recently took over as chairman.

As a young man, a bad knee and poor eyesight kept Leslie from the playing side of Killymoon, so he became involved in the running of the club.

And he had an even keener interest in the Rangers club when his young brother, Aaron, became the club’s goalkeeper.

There were times when, with Leslie as secretary of the club, he almost single-handedly keep the club afloat financially through the amount of money he brought in each week from the ‘Guess the Score’ competition which the club ran at that time.

He represented the club at each meeting of the Mid-Ulster Football Association and was well-known and highly respected within Mid-Ulster football in general.

Leslie was a straight talker and he did not suffer fools easily and this was often reflected in some of the committee meetings that were often interesting, to say the least.

He had a desire to see the club own their own pitch and was instrumental in the club having securing as their home venue the Blue Circle Sports ground, something which enabled the club to move forward to the intermediate standard of football.

Saturday was a great day for Leslie, more especially if Manchester United and Killymoon Rangers both won.

The club brought him great joy and there was often plenty of banter along the line and in the bus journeys to and from matches and he in return gave up a lot of his time and energy down through the years to keep the club going.

Leslie went into hospital last week for an operation, one which he sadly never came out of - and the shock that the club feels today is only surpassed by that of his girlfriend Margaret, his brother Aaron and wife Patricia and their boys and the family circle.

Those of us who worked with Leslie at club committee level will long remember a friend who undoubtedly had the best interests of the club at heart.

There is no doubt that Killymoon Rangers Football Club and, indeed, the community of Cookstown at large will certainly be all the poorer for the passing of Leslie Hall.