Roy Torrens was ‘Mr Irish Cricket’ - insists ex-skipper William Porterfield

Former Ireland captain William Porterfield says Irish cricket has lost a legend after the sad passing of Roy Torrens.
Former Ireland William Porterfield pictured alongside the late, great Roy Torrens. Picture by Barry ChambersFormer Ireland William Porterfield pictured alongside the late, great Roy Torrens. Picture by Barry Chambers
Former Ireland William Porterfield pictured alongside the late, great Roy Torrens. Picture by Barry Chambers

The Brigade Chairman, who was an ex-international pace bowler, died on Saturday and Porterfield remembers some great days with Torrens as Ireland team manager.

His managerial stint from 2004-16 was in a period of stunning Irish success and Torrens’ joyous celebrations with Ireland players were a memorable feature of their World Cup wins.

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And Porterfield, who skippered his country during most of Torrens time as national team manager, believes the game will properly celebrate his legacy once life returns to normal.

“Roy will be remembered forever in Irish cricket and rightly so as he did so much throughout the game. Hopefully once we get back to normal, the association will organise something so that we can all celebrate Roy’s life,” he insisted.

“He started out when Irish cricket was at amateur level and then moved into professional status. Roy would have done so much behind the scenes in terms of the organisation of various things and I know for a fact he always made sure things ran how they should.

“Whenever we were on tour, or even playing at home, Roy would make sure everything was sorted for us. He was a true gent and he will be sorely missed.

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“The biggest thing I’ll remember about Roy is how he looked after all of us and kept you honest within that. I have so many stories about Roy but to be honest they aren’t stand out because he did them so often for us and you always knew that he had the best interests of Irish cricket at heart.

"Every individual that went on tour with him or was around him, whether that was a player, a support member of staff or families and supporters who were at our games, Roy looked after them.

“He obviously had very good relationships with the coaches that were there and having spoken to Simmo (Phil Simmons), he was distraught. Look, Roy was a big personality and was a big influence around all of us.”

The North West Warrior revealed he had talked to Ireland team-mate, Paul Stirling, and the pair agreed that Torrens legacy to Irish cricket has affected numerous generations.

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“He really was ‘Mr Irish Cricket’. He played, he was President, Chairman of Selectors, manager and mentor for a lot of young lads coming into the side, he has looked after everything and everyone at one time or another and, to be honest, he has went above and beyond on a lot of instances with ourselves,” added Porterfield.

“We were a completely amateur side when I started and he looked after us so well. The amount he did off his own back for Irish cricket is phenomenal and it was testament to the kind of bloke that he was. Then, you think of him being a family man and also involved with Brigade and his football days in the Irish League which he wasn’t too shy about telling you about.

“I was chatting to Stirlo (Paul Stirling) about it on Saturday and we both agreed that Roy had such an influence on a lot of generations and while there’s a lot of good people out there in our game, Roy was one of the best.”

The 36-year-old said he wasn’t at all surprised that news of Roy’s death has prompted so many messages of sympathy from across the world.

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“Anyone who came in contact with him will feel the loss and you saw the messages coming in, they were coming in from across the word. Everywhere we toured, and I’m only going back to my era when I started in 2006 with the senior side with Roy, but everywhere he went he was loved. If we had been there before there was always a queue of people waiting to meet up with him again and always asking for him and that’s only during my 15 years with the senior side.”

Mr Torrens' funeral, which takes place at Portrush Presbyterian Church this afternoon (Tuesday), will be streamed live at 2.00pm.