Tees

Ali Brownlee: Middlesbrough FC fans pay tribute to 'Voice of the Boro'

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Media captionBoro stage special tribute for Ali Brownlee

Middlesbrough fans have paid tribute to BBC Tees presenter Ali Brownlee, who died from cancer a week ago.

Supporters held a minute's applause before the kick-off of the club's game against Cardiff at 19:45 GMT.

Further applause was due to ring around the Riverside Stadium in the 56th minute, marking the age at which Mr Brownlee died.

He became known as the "Voice of the Boro" after more than 30 years commentating on the club.

Fans have left scarves and shirts at the club's ground alongside scores of emotional messages.

Image caption Supporters at the Riverside for Tuesday's game against Cardiff held aloft banners celebrating Mr Brownlee

Former Middlesbrough striker Bernie Slaven, who commentated alongside Mr Brownlee, said: "Ali wouldn't believe it. He would be embarrassed to a degree because he was a modest man.

"He was passionate, very knowledgeable about the game of football. He lived and breathed it."

Mr Slaven said highlights of working together included the club's victory in the 2004 Carling Cup at the Millennium Stadium.

Image caption Fans pinned shirts and scarves to the old Ayresome Park gates, which are now in place at the Riverside

Mr Brownlee had worked in a bank before taking up a commentary role with the BBC in 1982.

He had also presented BBC Tees' breakfast show since 2011.

He died at his home in Middlesbrough on Valentine's Day, surrounded by family, and will be laid to rest at a private funeral on Thursday.

Supporters will have another opportunity to pay their respects on Thursday.

Mr Brownlee will be laid to rest at a private funeral, but fans will be able to pay their respects along the route of the cortege which will travel along Linthorpe Road, Borough Road, the Riverside Stadium and Ayresome Street from shortly after 13:00 GMT.

Fans are invited to gather in the West Stand of the Riverside from 12:00 GMT and highlights of some of Mr Brownlee's best moments will be shown on a big screen prior to the arrival of the cortege.

Image caption Ali Brownlee was as well known for his enthusiasm as he was for his football commentary

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