Sudden death of a ‘legend’

ONE of Banbridge’s popular all-round sportsmen died suddenly last week, leaving a gaping void in the world of cricket, rugby and golf.

Laurence Bramall from Daisy Hill Court, Banbridge, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 53.

Described as ‘larger than life’ both on and off the sports field, Mr Bramall - affectionately known as ‘Spla’ - leaves a devoted partner, Sharon, as well as two brothers, Christoper and David, and two sisters, Anne and Binky.

Tributes have poured in from sporting colleagues who knew him best, whether on the cricket ground or golf course or in the clubrooms at Banbridge Rugby Club where he was a lifelong member.

The members of Millpark Cricket Club were “stunned” to hear of the tragedy and described the club trustee and former 1st XI Captain as “a great friend”, while Leader golf correspondent, Tommy Fee, said Laurence had been one of the club’s most popular players.

A representative of the rugby club also paid tribute to a former player who was “great fun, a great member and everyone’s friend.”

Leading the tributes, Mr Fee said, “The sudden and untimely death of Laurence Bramall last Wednesday came as a profound shock to everyone connected with Banbridge Golf Club.

“He was always convivial company and played the game of golf as it should be played - with a big smile on his face.”

Mr Bramall’s cricket associates added, “Few will forget his captaincy in the 1999 season when he led his team from the front to Junior Cup glory.

“In an incredible two-day match, Spla memorably hit a huge ‘six’ in the last over as Millpark scrambled over the line. More than a decade later, a picture of the big man lifting that beautiful and famous trophy was proudly on display in his home.

“As well as being well respected for his captaincy, considered opinions, and sense of humour, he was a kind man. Just last year he turned down his first prize in a club competition, preferring the cash to be added to the total raised for ‘The Friends of the Cancer Hospital’.

“Laurence Bramall was a ‘one in a million’ type of guy and they do not come along too often.”

A funeral service took place yesterday (Monday) afternoon to Holy Trinity Parish Church.

Donations in lieu of flowers are being sent to funeral directors, William Bell and Co., for the Southern Area Hospice.