Joe McAloon former postman, popular figure in local road running circles and ardent Pembrokian has died aged 83.
I should be getting used to all this but it still comes as a shock to hear about the death of a contemporary, particularly a character like Joe McAloon. It felt like Joe had been around forever and would continue so. He was particularly active as a Vet in the 1970`s and onwards along with a string of eccentric Pembrokians, Sammy McIvor, Gerry Brady, Sid Black, Sid Smith, Billy Fuery, Brian Hughes and a host of others, all of whom could have come straight out of the pages of a Damon Runyon novel. A slight figure he appeared to be running slowly but this was deceptive, he was actually quite a useful runner. I recall the numerous times I got on his shoulder only to see him pull effortlessly away to the finish. I found this a bit frustrating, for all the camaraderie the knives were out when racing. So I wrote an article that was published in a Vets magazine entitled `Some day I am going to beat Joe McAloon`. He found this hugely amusing and continued to put the boot in. It goes without saying that I never did beat Joe McAloon.
Meticulous about paying his subscription to LPS he would ring once a year to enquire how much it was. I always replied, `Which of the horses came in?’ It was a standard joke between us. Each week he would go for a `rub down’ to his physiotherapist who nick-named him `Ten Mile a Day Joe’ for his continual lapping of the grounds of Fazakerley Hospital.
I am a lover of gentle eccentrics such as Joe and it has been a great joy in my life to have known so many. He is in there with there with other great `unforgetables’.
I suspect he has already started lapping some celestial park where I am surely going to find him at some future date. We have a score to settle.
Au revoir, Joe.
Funeral will be at Holy Name Fazakerley 10am 19th May