As our club embarks on a new, exciting era it was very happy before Saturday’s match against Larne, to welcome back onto the Oval pitch and to recognise some of the greatest players ever to represent Glentoran. Before the match the guys all had a get together in the Ron Manley Suite, a very fitting location as no fewer than eleven of these players had been teammates of Yorkie.
The 25 men present on Saturday represented every Championship or Irish Cup winning team as far back as 1964 and the club’s run to the European Cup Winners’ Cup Quarter Final in 1973/74.
We had our all-time record appearance holder and all-time record goalscorer plus our record goalscorer in European competition and the two most successful managers in the club’s history. We had the captains of six championship teams, five men who had captained Irish Cup Winning Glentoran sides, eight full internationals and two players who were members of their country’s squad at World Cup Finals. Serious Glentoran pedigree there!
While 25 Glentoran Greats made it on the day, several equally famous and well-loved legends were sadly unable to attend. They sent their regrets, but we will make sure to have another reception later in the season to recognise their achievements.
Those in attendance on Saturday were:
The club’s all-time record scorer with 375 goals in 463 games – Trevor Thompson
A Detroit Cougar and winner of 3 championships and an Irish Cup, 289 appearances – Harry Creighton
Harry’s full back partner – winner of 4 championships, 2 Irish Cups, 449 appearances and 2 caps for Northern Ireland – Billy McKeag
Irish Cup winning captain, 4 championships and 2 Irish Cups, 363 appearances – Jim Weatherup
Double Championship player, 16 trophies as Glentoran manager, 35 caps for Northern Ireland and one of only 2 men to manage Glentoran to the League & Cup Double and to 16 trophies – Tommy Jackson
Cougar and double championship winner – Billy Sinclair
2 Championships as a player, 3 as manager, 5 caps for Northern Ireland and the Irish League’s most successful manager ever – Roy Coyle
Member of 2 Championship squads, 147 appearances and goalkeeper for our run to the European Cup Winners Cup Quarter Final – Trevor McCullough
Captain of our 1977 championship team, winner of 2 championships an Irish Cup, 412 appearances, 134 goals, our record goalscorer in European competition and a Northern Ireland international – Johnny Jamison
Championship winner and the colossus of that famous night against Juventus – Alex Robson
Championship winner, 295 appearances and former captain – Roy Walsh
From the 1977 Championship and the 1974 Cup Winners Cup run – Andy Dougan
2 Championships, an Irish Cup, captain of our 1981 invincibles and 335 appearances – Rab McCreery
3 championships, 4 Irish Cups, 440 appearances, 110 goals and 7 caps and a goal for Northern Ireland – Billy Caskey
3 Championships, 6 Irish Cups, 498 appearances, 13 goals and a World Cup Finalist – The Flying Angel – Johnny Jameson
2 championships, 4 Irish Cups, 524 appearances, 108 goals and a championship winning captain – Barney Bowers
2 championships, an incredible 6 Irish Cups, 432 appearances and 105 goals – Raymond Morrison
A championship, 2 Irish Cups, a captain, 333 appearances and 11 caps for Canada – Terry Moore
Another championship captain next – with 3 championships, 4 Irish Cups, 468 appearances and 35 goals – John Devine
2 Irish Cup medals in the 80s and member of a great Glentoran dynasty – Tommy Leeman
A member of Tommy Jackson’s 1992 Championship team, 173 appearances and 54 goals – Gary Hillis
An Irish Cup winner in 1996 in midfield. 123 appearances, 6 goals – Darren Parker
2 championships, 2 Irish Cups, 240 appearances, 55 goals and currently a club sponsor – Darren Lockhart
A championship, 2 Irish Cups, 249 appearances, 45 goals and a Northern Ireland cap as a Glentoran player – Rory Hamill
And Finally, ….
With a remarkable 794 appearances in 18 seasons, 89 goals from defence, 4 Championships and 6 Irish Cup winners – our record appearance maker – Colin Nixon
Nicky on the pitch on Saturday with the only man ever likely to challenge his appearance record - his long term team mate Elliott Morris
Photographs by Thomas Sewell.