At the request of family members, Glentoran FC has been asked to announce the death of legendary Glens player Bertie Wright. He was 102.
After a short illness, Bertie passed away peacefully at Craigavon Area Hospital on Saturday afternoon surrounded by his family. Bertie was predeceased by his wife Peggy and daughter Dolores.
He is survived by his son Paul and wife Violet, and their children Gary and Lynne. Also, Dolores’s children Susan, Peter and Karen. Great grandchildren Jacqui, Susanne and David, Josh and Molly, Holly, Jessica, Ben and Max and great great grandson Dylan.
Bertie, born in St Leonard’s Street off the Newtownards Road, joined Glentoran in the 1941-42 season. He played 214 games for the club, scoring 47 goals, before his departure in 1949. Fittingly his last match supporting the Glens was as the club’s guest at the 2020 Irish Cup Final, when we defeated Ballymena United 2-1.
Glentoran Chairman Ian Kerr paid tribute to Bertie on behalf of the club: “Bertie was a real Glentoran icon and a beacon light. An important link to some of our hardest days in the 1940's and an example of how to face them and fight through them. A really lovely man with a wonderful smile who was Glentoran to the core, we might never see one like him ever again. We have lost a treasure. Our heartfelt and deepest condolences to his family, all Glentoran fans thoughts are with them in this difficult time.”
Bertie at the 2020 Irish Cup final with his close friend Alex Richardson
Former Chairman Stephen Henderson said: “I have had the privilege over the years of meeting many former Glentoran players, the heroes and legends of yesteryear, but from them all, one man stood out for his humility, his dignity, his warmth, kindness and his pride on having pulled on our shirt. No matter where or when you met him, Bertie lit the room with his smile, his quietly spoken words of wisdom, of encouragement or of a mischievous tale of days gone by, of the days when the game wasn’t about the money, but rather, as his great friend Danny Blanchflower would say, all about the glory.It was an honour to spend time in his company and to call him my friend. We haven’t just lost our last survivor of our All Ireland winning team, we have lost an ambassador, a great friend and a true gentleman. The Oval will seem a little darker now."
Funeral service in Ahorey Presbyterian Church, BT62 3SX on Tuesday 21 June at 2.00pm, followed by a private family committal at Mullavilly Parish Churchyard.
The service can be viewed at Ahorey Presbyterian Church YouTube channel