We are very sad to announce the untimely death of former Northumberland player Ian McClen on 8th May this year. Andrew Lawson sends the following personal tribute:
“I remember first seeing Ian as a junior at Wylam chess club in the late 1970s. Later he played for Gateshead and Newcastle as well as in local events. He graduated in Economics from Newcastle University and then did an MSc. at Sunderland. He moved to London around 1997 to work as a data analyst. Due to work commitments and, later, illness, he didn’t play any league chess until last year when he regularly appeared for Ealing chess club.
“Besides chess, his main interests were football, politics and music. After a particularly bad time of his life, Ian seemed to be improving and was preparing to move back to Newcastle by September, which makes his death all the more tragic for his friends.
“He leaves a sister, Catherine, whom many of Ian’s friends met shortly before his funeral in Crawcrook last week. One friend of Ian’s, who is now a professor at Coventry, only found out about his funeral the night before and drove from there to Newcastle the next day to attend – which suggests a rare loyalty in the fragmented times we live in.”