Devoted dad is laid to rest

Mark Chambers.
Mark Chambers.

A devoted husband and father has passed away peacefully after a long illness.

Thomas Mark Chambers (Mark) died at his home on Monday January 12.

Mark was the youngest of a family of five, of the late Jack and Rona Chambers. He was married to Jennifer and a loving dad to Aaron, Lauren, Stephen and Leanne, father-in-law to Grainne, granddad to Aoife, stepdad to Hayley and Ian and Step granddad to Chloe, Dylan and Jack.

Mark attended Church Street School and Banbridge Academy where his interest in sport began. After leaving school he went to work in Franklin’s, Unidare and Liddles Linen of Donacloney.

Mark was part of a sporting family and had a fantastic football career. He played for Banbridge AFC, Rathfriland, Banbridge Town and Seapatrick.

Mark began his career with the Boys Club, before earning a transfer to Nottingham Forest in 1971 (aged 17), where he was to share a room with future European Cup winning star and Northern Ireland International, Martin O’Neill. On his club debut he even managed to score a hat trick in a Central League game against Doncaster Rovers, this was the equivalent of today’s Reserve League.

Mark was a real home bird, and when he returned home he played for Portadown in the Irish League under Gibby MacKenzie.

Mark was held in the highest respect by the local sporting community.

Mark is survived by his wife, sons, daughters, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, step children, step grandchildren, brothers John, Noel and Paul and sister Caroline. Sincere sympathy has been extended to these and the wider family circle. His largely attended funeral is a testament to the respect in which Mark was held.

The funeral took place from Seapatrick Parish Church by Ven.Roderic West, who paid a fitting tribute. The hymns ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’ and ‘In Christ Alone’ were sung and ‘Bring HimHome’ by Alfie Boe was played as the coffin left the Church. Family flowers were placed on the grave and donations in lieu are being sent to William Bell and Co. Funeral Directors for Macmillan & Marie Curie Nurses.

(Cheques made payable to William Bell and Co.) William Bell and Co. had charge of the funeral arrangements.