The Doc: condolence book
Cricketers from across the region gathered at Tynemouth Crematorium and Newcastle Cricket Club to mourn the passing of Alan “Doc” Docherty. Well over 150 people attended the funeral, so many that the majority had to listen silently outside as Humanist Celebrant Chris Haine conducted the service.
Jethro Tull’s “Life’s a Long Song” was followed by an outline of a life distinguished by highly individual achievements and attitudes. Poems included Margaret Frye’s “Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep”, and the service ended with Sarah McLaughlin’s “In the arms of an angel”.
Six days earlier, Newcastle CC players wore black armbands and flags were lowered on 27 July, after news that he had passed away that morning.
A display of memorabilia is now in the Club Bar, and a condolence book is available for entries until 10 August, when it will be presented to the family. Tributes and messages of condolence for family and friends have been sent by many across North East cricket – see more details below. And the captains of Newcastle CC Firsts and Seconds dedicated their 30-point wins to the memory of a player who will be sorely missed.
“The Legend” was Player of the Year for the Thirds in 2011, and in 2012 was shortlisted for the North East Premier League player awards. He’ll be sorely missed for his humour, encyclopaedic knowledge, enthusiasm for cricket and sheer force of personality – he brightened the Pavilion Bar whenever he was there.
Doug Hudson speaking for Newcastle Cricket Club, said: “Having known the Doc for 30 years, he would be the first to say he was just an ordinary cricketer who loved the game.
However all of us, as a man and a very good friend, he was a ‘Legend’.He was generous to a fault in his support of young cricketers who he regularly ‘sponsored’ on tours. However he came into his own in the bar after a match, and was a great addition to any post match refreshments, whether he had played in the game or not. The stories were embellished at each re-telling and became ever more fanciful and more entertaining. Who can forget when he killed a Koi Carp. Whether fact or fiction they were enjoyed by all.
“He will be greatly missed in every cricket club he ever visited and especially at Jesmond.”
Keith Shaw of Benwell Hill echoed the views of many with his tribute: “He is an irreplaceable character within Northumberland (and North East) cricket and was universally liked and respected. I don’t think I ever heard anyone have a bad word for the Doc. He wasn’t just a good cricketer but he loved the game and had a fantastic knowledge of the history of cricket.”
Many thanks to Terry Phillips for these action pictures – if you have other pictures you’d like us to add, just email to email@example.com
** Information on the crematorium, including map here