Sing that title to the tune of Guantanamera. Those of you who are not Teessiders will not be aware that Ali Brownlee, aka The Voice of Boro, passed away on 14 February 2016, after a short battle against bowel cancer. I had a lump in my throat and tears slowly trickled down my face when I read the news.
In many a way this date is very fitting, as, to quote his colleague, John Foster, he was loved, not liked, by so many people. He was for many years a presenter on BBC Tees, mainly as football commentator, but also as breakfast show host, where you’d often hear Ali talking about Benjamin the Labrador and his huge love for his family pet.
Benjamin was a passenger in one of the funeral cars, seeing his
owner dad off, something I found very touching.
I came to love his breakfast show daily Headline Challenge against Peter Barron, editor of The Northern Echo newspaper.
I’ll never forget his reaction to one of my entries last year. The headline challenge was all about a musical clergyman. My entry was: “Beat’n’The Bishop”, which Ali’s co-host described as “very funny, but TOTALLY unbroadcastable.” Ali just went, “Oh!” and then chuckled earthily. Fourtunately I few weeks later I won the challenge with “You Were Mermaid For Me”, all about love at a Waterworld theme park.
.Ali’s catchphrase and response to The Barron on the Headline Challenge was,
I know exactly where you’re coming from.
And, Ali, I know exactly where you’re going to. Heaven: hovering right above the Riverside Stadium.
Have a unique day, won’t you!