Carrickfergus Cricket Club – Gordon Browne
On 18th June 2016 Gordon Browne was playing cricket for Carrickfergus Cricket Club when he collapsed on the pitch. A trip to A&E and it was discovered that Gordon had a brain tumour. Initial thoughts were it was a low grade tumour and so he was scheduled for surgery late summer 2016. He continued to go to work as normal and felt okay. In September 2016 he had a craniotomy at Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast under the care of Dr Flannery. Pathology results came back 2 weeks later and diagnosis was a Grade IV Glioblastoma. This was a bit of a shock to Gordon and his family as they had thought it was a low grade tumour. Six weeks of radiotherapy followed and a further 6 cycles of chemotherapy, taking him to June 2017.
This was the start of a new cricket season at Carrick and as Gordon was unable to play that season the committee decided to name him as the President or el presidente as Gordon liked to refer himself as.
Unfortunately for Gordon a post treatment MRI scan in July 2017 indicated that the tumour had begun to grow again. He was started on a different chemotherapy treatment at this stage but a further scan in January 2018 showed that this wasn’t having the desired affect and he was given the devastating news that any cancer patient dreads, go and enjoy your time with your family, there is nothing more we can do for you.
On the morning of Monday 18th June 2018, exactly 2 years to the day of his first seizure, Gordon lost his fight and sadly passed away in his sleep. This was a massive blow to his family but also to the cricket community at Carrick and further afield. Gordons sister, Gillian Hunt, set up a just giving page the day Gordon passed and it raised a staggering £5972 in just a few days for BrainwavesNI.
This was Gordons wish, he didn’t want a funeral or any fuss made, instead he wanted to raise money for charity and specifically a local charity.
Carrickfergus Cricket club choose a charity each year to fundraise for and in honour of their past President, they decided 2018’s charity would be BrainwavesNI. An annual event is held for local families on 13th July at the cricket club where they have bouncy castles and various other games for the parents and kids. Raffles were sold at all the home T20 matches and in September 2018 one of the members, Billy Gardner organised a 70s & 80s disco held at the club. All these events raised a fantastic £2400 which was presented to committee member Julie Adams on Saturday 15th June. The presentation took place at the club but more poignantly at the tree that was planted in memory of Gordon and where his ashes have been scattered.
Julie has grown up at the cricket club as her father played for the team for many years. She knew Gordon from back in the day when she followed the cricket team her father played in. It was sheer coincidence that Gordon was a month ahead of Julie in their treatment and they both supported each other throughout their brain tumour journey. Gordon is the reason why Julie has joined the committee of brainwaves and hopes to support the charity and other families going through similar journeys.
A massive thank you to Carrickfergus Cricket club for supporting the charity or the 2018 season.