Warm tributes have been paid to Bobby (Robert) Bonner (82), originally from Carrowen in Burt in Inishowen and late of Rasharkin, County Antrim.
Bobby was the loving husband of Ellen (neé McGarry), father of Lynda, father-in-law of Neville and brother of Raymond, Annie, Kathleen, Mary-Margaret, Agnes, Teresa and the late Jim, Bridie and Angela.
Bobby's Requiem Mass was celebrated on Saturday, September 5, in St Mary's church, Rasharkin followed by interment in Loughgiel Cemetery.
A long-time supporter of the Brandywell Greyhound Track in Derry, Bobby walked into the refurbished stadium two years ago, with his daughter, Lynda, and their dog, Tiny, having battled cancer.
On that occasion, Bobby thanked Derry City and Strabane District Council for the work done on the new greyhound track.
He said: “It is absolutely beautiful. It has made the whole place. I can't believe it, to tell you no lie. My father, Andrew, used to take me in here, about 1940 or 1941, on the bar of the bicycle and we used to watch the football matches. My father was very fond of the football.
“I can't believe this place has turned out the way it has. They are all out there, youngsters, fathers and mothers, and they are all delighted with this place, the play area and everything.”
Bobby has trained his dog Skinny Genes, the mother of Tiny, and she had raced at the Brandywell not long before he became ill in 2014. At that difficult time, Bobby was determined to live and see the new Brandywell greyhound track, as he got steadily stronger.
Honouring Bobby, the Brandywell Greyhound Track and McLaughlin family said: “We would like to express our sincere condolences to the Bonner family.
“Robert was an advocate for the reopening of the new track and had passed his love of the sport to his daughter, Lynda Bonner, who has been an ambassador for the greyhound world and, more importantly, our little track here in the northwest.
“Without the support of the Bonner family, racing would not be what it is today. Rest in peace.”
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