Cycling Ulster is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Alan Mark.
Alan joined Ballymena Road Club along with his brother Ernie in 1955, just one year after it was founded and was a stalwart of club activities ever since.
As a strong competitor, Alan had many creditable achievements, winning provincial championship medals as well as setting the Derry – Belfast tandem record alongside his club mate, Sammy Connor.
Alan was a driving force behind Ballymena Road Club for decades and took on various roles, from timekeeper through to President therefore it was fitting that he was made an Honorary Life Member of the club in 2019.
This passion for the promotion of cycling was passed onto other family members who have been prominent in the local cycling scene which has included helping to organise and run events such as the Wallace Caldwell Memorial and the Red Hand Trophy. Alan’s daughter, Joan McCullough has also been Race Director of the Tour of the North.
Other family members such as Mary Mark, Alan’s wife and his other daughter Carol as well as grandsons Russell, Mark and Adam were also to the fore when help was needed especially for the Tour of the North.
Alan played a significant role at provincial level, serving as President of the NICF for many years. He was a key figure in the talks between Cycling Ulster, Cycling Ireland and the NICF and ready to listen to all sides. Marian Lamb, current Treasurer of Cycling Ulster, was also involved in those talks along with Tommy Lamb, Gordon Parker, Rory Wyley, Oliver Hunter and Micheál Concannon. She remembers Alan as one who put the good of cycling above politics. He said to her “I see the young people competing against each other and then coming together afterwards, laughing and talking. That is what sport is all about. As President of the NICF is my duty to look to the long term future of our young people and give them a future together.” In December 2006,at a Special Meeting of the NICF held in the Templeton Hotel the Northern Ireland Cycling Federation member clubs voted overwhelmingly in support of a major change in direction that will see them amalgamate with Cycling Ulster and thus affiliate to the world governing body via Cycling Ireland for 2007. As longstanding NICF Chairman, Alan Mark chaired the meeting, which saw a landslide vote of 29 in favour and 2 against the proposals set out by the negotiating team that had been in discussions with Cycling Ulster in recent weeks. This was perhaps his greatest achievement.
Ballymena Road Club, one of the biggest clubs in Ireland, led the vote with their 11 delegates, and were supported by North Down CC, Team Madigan, Old Bleach CC and West Down Wheelers.
On behalf of its members, the Cycling Ulster Executive extends its condolences to Alan’s family, his club mates and friends.
Funeral and wake details can be seen below.
Mark Samuel Alan, 1st April 2022, peacefully at the home of his daughter and son-in-law Joan and Hugh. Much loved husband of Mary, 15 Fenaghy Road, Galgorm. Beloved father of Carol, Samuel and Joan, dear father-in-law of Hugh, devoted grandfather of Lauren, Stephen, Mark, Russell and Adam and great grandfather of Jayden, Harry and Holly.
Funeral service in First Ahoghill Presbyterian Church on Sunday 3rd inst. at 3pm, interment afterwards at First Ahoghill family burying ground.
No flowers please, donations in lieu, if desired, may be sent to James Henry Funeral Services 100 Broughshane Street, Ballymena BT43 6EE for NI Air Ambulance.
Friends welcome at the home of Joan and Hugh McCullough, 22 Tullynahinnion Road, Portglenone BT44 8EL. Lovingly remembered and sadly missed by his wife, family and family circle.