The latest event in Niall Quinn’s Testimonial season took place at New Midgley Park when a team of supporters took on a Linfield Legends team which was packed with stars from recent years.
The large crowd, some of whom had stayed on after seeing our under 16s team defeat Ballymena 4-1 just beforehand, was treated to a great afternoon of seeing their heroes of recent time back on the pitch.
The supporters team was managed of course by Niall and he was ably assisted by club captain Jamie Mulgrew. The Legends team was managed by the biggest club legend of all – Gary Eccles who was frequently on the touch line shouting out instructions. Gary, who’s now basking in the glory of having a 100 percent record in management, was assisted by Pat McShane and Andy Hunter.
Though at times the game had a pedestrian feel to it, there was no doubting that the skill was still there and supporters were treated to some moments of skill that brought back many memories.
For the record, the Legends won 7-0.
The goals started flowing after Glenn Ferguson netted a penalty which was ‘dubiously’ awarded when Paul McAreavey seemed to fall over his own feet.
Damien Curran made it 2-0 before the break after running through the supporters defence and rounding the keeper.
The scoring in the second half increased when an angry looking Michael Gault ran through the supporters team and rocketed the ball into the net.
Davy Larmour finally got on the scoresheet after a few close shaves to make it 4-0.
Clean Sweep Legend and now Coleraine manager Oran Kearney got on the scoresheet and goals from Chris Morgan and Craig McCracken concluded the scoring.
After the game both teams mingled in the pavilion for pizza and refreshments and many photographs were taken as a memento of the day.
All of the supporters who played got a special shirt made for the day which they will no doubt cherish.
For the record the supporters squad was
And the Legends who kindly gave up their Easter Saturday to take part
Noel Bailie MBE
A special thanks also to Gary Hull who refereed the game.