MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : NORTHERN IRELAND FOOTBALL – SPRING 2007

Dean Shiels is the cover star of Northern Ireland Football, as he has made a comeback after having an eye removed in early 2006.

In news, Mark Clyde of Wolves and Northern Ireland has had to announce his retirement at the age of 24 due to a succession of injuries.

At Burnley, Michael Duff and Kyle Lafferty have signed new deals that will keep them at the club until 2010.

Dean Shiels gets a full page interview, having made a comeback for both club and country, looking forward to a Scottish League Cup Final for Hibs against Kilmarnock.

Alan Shearer was recently in Belfast to present awards to Glenn Ferguson, Peter Thompson and Darren Kelly on behalf of Umbro.

Darren Murphy spills the beans on his Ballymena United team-mates, revealing that Mark Picking has the worst taste in music.

David Jeffrey gets a two page profile as he celebrates ten years as manager of Linfield.

The 2007 edition of the Setanta Cup has just kicked off, and a full page feature looks at the success of the competition so far.

Grant McCann gets profiled, as he hopes to get game time in Northern Ireland’s upcoming European Championship Qualifiers against Leichtenstein and Sweden.

The recent friendly against Wales, a 0-0 draw at Windsor Park, gets a full page picture special.

Meanwhile, the Irish Cup has announced a new sponsor, JJB Sports.

Northern Ireland’s Women are also in European Qualifying action, kicking off with an away game against England in May 2007.

Cliftonville get a double page profile, having just won the County Antrim Shield.

Across Belfast, there is a feature of Peter Thompson, Michael Gault and Paul McAreavey, who are settling into life as full-time professionals based in the Irish League, as they adjust to no longer having to combine playing with a full-time job.

McAreavey was selected for an Irish League Select XI who defeated the English Conference 3-1 at Mourneview Park.

Colin Murray and Neil Lennon were recently in Belfast to present the Football For All Awards.

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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

WARREN FEENEY/GRANT McCANN MURAL UPDATE

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog looking at some of the football related graffiti and murals that have or are currently occupying wallspace in Belfast.

One of those featured was a ‘Welcome To Sandy Row’ mural, featuring images of Grant McCann and Warren Feeny in action for Northern Ireland.

Since it was uploaded, there has been an addition to the mural, which I noticed when I was in Sandy Row earlier today.

The image of McCann and Feeney now has a mosaic of the IFA crest above it.

Apologies for the poor composition of the photo, but the mural is situated in front of car parking spaces, and traffic going in either direction mean you have to take your photo from the footpath.

The original photo was taken on a Sunday morning, when traffic was lighter both in terms of parking and driving through, making it easier to get the photo I wanted.

You may also notice that a crowd has been added into the background of the image, and that the words ‘Our Wee Country’ have been written above the image.

Some other graffiti I spotted was ‘ACDC Bhoy’ written on a wall in Sandy Row and ‘She’ written on a wall in Stranmillis.

Also tried to get some images of the sun going down over the River Lagan, with mixed results.

Enjoy.

WORK IN PROGRESS ……

Was out today getting some photographs, and as promised, got one of the mural in progress in Sandy Row.

As you can obviously see, it’s a football themed mural. When I originally saw it, it was just Grant McCann, which led me to think that it was dedicated to local footballers, but the presence of Warren Feeney seems to have skewed that theory, as he comes from East Belfast (But he’s OK, he supports Linfield, like the majority of East Belfast residents)

I genuinely can’t wait to see what it looks like when it is finished. When it is, it’ll be posted up here.

Meanwhile, got some other graffiti today, including this one, complaining that a road sign should in fact be a tree.

Unfortunately, one of my favourite pieces of graffiti is now no more.

There’s enough wall space in Belfast for crying out loud.

Some other graffiti spotted includes this, this and this.