By Geoff Garnett

GOLFERS in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire and Derbyshire were saddened to hear of the death of John Dowd, the president of the Manchester and District Golf Alliance (MDGA) for more than 25 years, after a long and brave battle against illness.

Dowd was a true legend in golf in the North West and his unstinting and dedicated work in making the MDGA the biggest and most successful in the country will be a lasting legacy to him.

He also put a great deal of outstanding work into his beloved Flixton Golf Club over his many years in the sport and was also an active member of Marriott Worsley Park GC for the best part of 20 years.

Dowd also initiated the annual National Alliance competition with the John Dowd Trophy awarded to the winning Alliance.

He was well known and revered at all levels of golf and there were many tributes given for the outstanding work he had done on behalf of the sport.

Giving his appreciation of what Dowd had done for Flixton Golf Club for the past 47 years was their former captain Chris Mulhearn who said: "John joined Flixton Golf Club on July 1 1972 – he was a member of the committee many times during his membership and became club president in 1987 and captain in 1995.

“In 2012 John was elected an honorary life member of the club at the agm by a unanimous vote of the members in recognition of his work for Flixton Golf Club.

“John was also elected to serve as a trustee of the club from 1977 to the present day.

“John, throughout his membership, supported and promoted junior golf both at the club and the wider area. He donated The John Dowd Trophy, which still to this day is the most coveted prize played for by our juniors.

“One of John’s proudest moments came when Flixton won the MDGA Dunham Forest Trophy in 2009 and he was able to present the trophy as president of the MDGA to his fellow members of the team.

“In the final months of his life John was still extremely proactive helping fellow members and officers of the club organise our pro-am as well as the up-and-coming am-am and was assisting with identifying candidates for the position of club professional.

“John was a larger than life character who will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”