Martin McGuinness: IRA commander and English cricket fan

Peter Hain, Labour secretary of state for the North during devolution, recalls a ‘big’ man

Former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness has died at Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital aged 66. He had been receiving treatment for a rare health condition.

It was summer 2005, early into my role as secretary of state for Northern Ireland, when Martin McGuinness came into my Stormont Castle office, peering round at a television screen in the corner with Sky News on.

Incredibly for a hardline Irish republican – and quite unlike his close leadership colleague Gerry Adams accompanying him – he was interested in the Ashes series between England and Australia.

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