SANDY ROW HALL OF FAME

Was out for a cycle today. Not in Liege, but in Holylands and Sandy Row.

Managed to get some pictures of new murals.

The first new mural is of Rory McIlroy, in the Holylands.

Meanwhile, en route from Holylands to Sandy Row, I encountered some more Knitted Art (blogged about last week) outside The Empire.

In Sandy row, I got some pictures of a new mural, on Stroud Street.

It’s a street long mural focusing on various aspects of life in Sandy Row through the years.

There is depictions of fruit sellers, and men who worked in the tram depot at Sandy Row, as well as local sporting successes such as various Boxing champions, Alex Higgins, and local footballers such as Grant and Ryan McCann, current Linfield players Daryl Fordyce and Albert Watson, as well as Linfield legends Tommy Dickson and Joe Bambrick.

The image of Higgins is of the iconic of him carrying his young child after winning the 1982 World Championship.

For some, it is not their first time being immortalised in mural form.

Alex Higgins is commemorated on a mural painted immediately after his death outside The Royal Bar, a street away. He frequented, and lived opposite the bar in his later years.

Further on down the Donegall Road, there is another mural of him. This photo was taken in 2007.

Grant McCann features on a mural opposite Days Hotel alongside Warren Feeney Jr (who, as far as I know, doesn’t come from Sandy Row)

Joe Bambrick and Tommy Dickson also feature on a mural of local footballing legends in The Village, while Bambrick’s former home at Roden Street gets a blue plaque, and Tommy Dickson has a mural in Taughmonagh.

Enjoy

Photo Album

ALEX ‘HURRICANE’ HIGGINS 1949-2010

It was announced today that former Snooker player Alex Higgins died, and unsurprisingly, like a favourite son of Belfast, he is honoured in mural form in the city.

To my knowledge (please feel free to correct if there are any others) there is only one mural of him in Belfast, just off the Donegall Road, where he grew up.

This photo, taken in May 2007, came about as a complete fluke. It was the Sunday of a Bank Holiday Weekend and it was light at a ridiculously late hour, I went out that evening to get photos of as much murals and graffiti in the University, Donegall and Grosvenor Roads.

The reason why I was doing that route was that I had always remembered seeing a plaque in commemoration of Belfast Celtic in the Park Centre and wanted to do a recce to see how to get there on foot.

Incidentally, there is currently an exhibition dedicated to the history of Belfast Celtic in the Park Centre. It’s periodically open to the public, and i’m hoping to try and sneak a visit on the lunchtime of 7th August, when Linfield host Ballymena United.

I was walking back home and spotted the mural, and couldn’t get the camera out quick enough, as I didn’t even know it had existed.

From time to time, i’d usually spot him walking around Belfast, usually in the Univeristy/Botanic/Shaftesbury Square areas, and there was still an aura about him, as other people in the street would stop and mutter to themselves “That’s Alex Higgins”

I actually once served him a beer when I worked in The Globe. Such was the change in his appearance that a work colleague thought I was winding him up when I pointed out that Alex Higgins was in the building.

I’m not sure what the mural is like at the moment as I haven’t ventured into the Donegall Road for a while. Hopefully, it is still there and in good condition.

A typically Belfast tribute to a Belfast sporting hero.