A QUAKERS fanatic who loved sharing his passion for his club despite having moved to the other side of the world has died at the age of 64.

Alan Dooley emigrated to Australia a decade ago but always maintained his passion for Darlington FC.

The 64-year-old, who had rarely missed a game before his move, died in Brisbane on November 2 following an illness.

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He chose to be buried in his favourite black Darlington shirt, while his wife Dee decided to honour her husband’s love for the club by draping his coffin with a Darlington FC towel. 

Describing him as a gentleman, she said: “Alan was so passionate and proud about his Darlo team, he would tell all who would listen. 

The Northern Echo: Alan Dooley, who had died aged 64

“He kept up to date with all the games and latest news on what the next strip was going to be, the fixtures and he would make time to place a vote or watch a game or the highlights when he could. 

“He always said that he’d take me to a home game one day, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.”

She added: “He loved the Quakers and their spirit, through all the turbulent years and changes. He said that it’s what made them who they are – strong and resilient.” 

He was regularly seen wearing his beloved Darlington shirts and even gave them away to some of the people he met because he was so proud.

Originally from Crook, in County Durham, he worked as a water treatment technician at Fujitsu Microelectronics in Newton Aycliffe, before moving to Leeds and working at Tadcaster Brewery. He later worked with QANTAS as an aircraft maintenance officer in Brisbane before his health declined. 

He met Dee, who is from Australia, while she was living in the UK. The couple married on the beach in Australia in 2011 and moved permanently to Brisbane in 2012. 

He was proud to have become an Australian citizen in 2019. 

He is father to Annemarie and Caroline and also has three grandsons, two granddaughters, siblings, nieces and nephews who still live in the area. 

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in August 2020 and in March was diagnosed with cancer.

The Northern Echo: Alan Dooley, who died on November 2, had a fitting send off

Mrs Dooley added: “When we found out it was terminal we had those difficult discussions together about what he wanted. He planned his own funeral and only wanted a simple service and he wanted to wear his black Darlo shirt for one last time. 

“He always said he had the best of both worlds – Darlington and Australia.”
She added: “He wanted a cremation and his ashes divided between Brisbane and Darlington. 

“I remember joking with him that when Covid allowed me to travel back to Darlington, I would get permission to scatter some of his ashes on the Quaker grounds as well. He said to me in a serious voice that it would be impossible as it was sacred ground.”

After learning of his death, Darlington FC said in a statement: “We would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Alan’s family and friends. 

“We will hold a minute’s silence for Alan and other Darlington fans that we have sadly lost, at a game in the New Year.”

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