Passionate football coach remembered as a ‘true gentleman’
ALAN Downie has been remembered as a true gentleman, passionate footballer and loving family man with never-ending generosity.
Mr Downie passed away peacefully at the age of 61 on June 28 in Nanango, a place where he built his life and called home.
He moved from Mt Binga to their family property in 1981 with his wife Deb, building what became home to their five kids Sally, Josh, Rebecca, Jacqui and Jo.
Mr Downie’s daughter Jacqui said he was just such a great bloke.
“Dad never had a bad word to say about anyone and he would do anything for anyone,” Ms Downie said.
“He just adored his family, he was a wonderful pop and was one of the most generous people I’ve ever met.
“He loved spending time with his family and loved camping, mustering and anything to do with horses.
“Dad was a well-respected man in Nanango and he adored his town.”
One of Mr Downie’s biggest passions was football and the Nanango Panthers Football club where he spent 36 years of his life playing, coaching and supporting.
Long-time friend Lola McNamara said soccer was everything to Mr Downie or Al as she knew him.
“I knew Al for 30 years and always found him to be very modest and humble,” Ms McNamara said.
“He never did anything for recognition or accolades and everything he did for the soccer club was because he loved the club and was so passionate about it.
“It was his home away from home, if he wasn’t home or on the farm with his kids, he was down at the soccer fields tirelessly working.”
Ms McNamara said she will always remember how much he loved her scones.
“I used to make scones for all of our meetings down at the soccer club and Alan loved his scones with jam and cream,” Ms McNamara said.
“One night I didn’t have time to make any so I took something else down and Alan walked in and I said sorry Al I didn’t have time to make scones.”
Once Ms MacNamara told Alan the news he said “what, no scones?”
“I am heading home then, no scones means no meeting,” he said.
Ms McNamara said the club has lost a loved and respected life member.
“Alan was a life member of the soccer club and not only has the club lost a most loved and respected member, but the whole community has lost a great mate, gone from our lives but never from our hearts,” Ms McNamara said.
“Everyone who has been connected with the club has much love and admiration for Alan, he was a man of honesty, integrity and a good natured friend to all.
“He coached many teams over the years and mentored many young players, however his main focus was always the Nanango Panthers women’s team and he was always quietly confident they could bring home the bacon.”
Another one of Mr Downie’s daughters Sally Hancock described him as a true gentlemen.
“A lot of people have been sending us messages and the most common one was that dad was a true gentlemen to all,” Ms Hancock said.
“He was such a generous man and he would help anyone with anything.
“He absolutely adored the football club, adored his family and adored his mates.”