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Published 3rd Nov 2017

ali brownlee quote tribute mural unveiled in middlesbrough

The inspirational words of Voice of the Boro Ali Brownlee have been immortalised on the approach to the Riverside Stadium.

The lasting tribute to the much missed commentator now adorns the side of the Shepherdson Way underpass in a joint project between Middlesbrough Council and Middlesbrough Football Club.

Alastair’s father Malcolm and daughter Emily visited the mural and said the overall emotion from Ali would have been pride.

Emily said: “He meant a lot to a lot of people but the town and the football club meant so much to him. He would have been really proud and he would have loved to see it.”

Malcolm added: “It’s an excellent tribute to Alastair – he would have been very proud to think that the town thought so much of him that they would have put up one of his quotes. It’s marvellous.”

The quote used is Ali’s memorable monologue following the final whistle of the 2006 UEFA Cup semi-final against Steaua Bucharest and it becomes the latest addition to the ongoing public poetry scheme in Middlesbrough.

The wall mural reads:

“That is it. It’s Eindhoven. It’s Eindhoven. Boro have made it. One of the most glorious nights in the history of football. We go back to 1876, the Infant Hercules, fathomed out of the foundries of Teesside, mined out of the Eston Hills, we’re roaring all the way to Eindhoven and the UEFA Cup Final. It’s party, party, party! Everybody round my house for a parmo!”

Boro star Stewart Downing, who played in the game, also attended the unveiling. He said: “It’s unbelievable. It’s great for the fans to walk past. I remember it like it was yesterday - You are in the local area and it’s on the radio, everyone is saying ‘have you heard Ali’s commentary?’ and it’s still getting played now.

“It looks really good and I think it’s nice for the Boro fans who walk past and see it and for it to bring back those memories.

“First and foremost Ali was a great person. He got on with all the players and everyone loved him.”

Middlesbrough Council launched its public poetry scheme earlier this year and there are now three prominent pieces in the town centre on Baker Street, Bedford Street and King Edward’s Square.

Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd said: “Every Boro fan will have their own favourite Ali Brownlee moment. His ability to not just explain what was happening on the pitch but to capture the emotions we all feel following the Boro is what made his commentaries transcend any other.

“His way with words, both in the good times and the bad, was undoubtedly poetic and we are delighted to be making this tribute to a man who will never be forgotten in Middlesbrough.”

Curator of the public poetry project Nicky Peacock said: “When I first I heard the commentary, I, like everyone else, was moved by its joy and eloquence. The sheer excitement and incredible warmth in the tone of Alastair’s words surprised me in the best way. Phrases such as ‘Fathomed out of the foundries of Teesside’ just trip off the tongue. The words are truly celebratory and very poetic. I’m so happy to have included this piece in the project.”

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