2010 IN PICTURES – APRIL

April was a busy month, and I have photographic evidence to back it up, including trips to Dublin, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool.

I headed to Dublin at the start of the month to see Linfield take on Bohemians in a Setanta Cup Semi-Final.

The game was on Easter Saturday, but I decided to take Good Friday off and head down to make a wee break of it.

I spent the Friday in Dublin and took in a League of Ireland clash between St Patrick’s Athletic and Sporting Fingal in the evening, before the Linfield match on the Saturday.

One big regret of the month was that I didn’t take my camera to the Easter Tuesday title decider against Glentoran, but two days later, I was in Sheffield watching James in concert at Sheffield O2 Academy.

The next day, I headed to Manchester, before spending the Saturday in Liverpool and then going to Ewood Park on the Sunday.

A few weeks later, I had an unexpected week off work and became a tourist in my own city, and managed to get some intersting graffiti shots.

The end of the month, saw Linfield visit Seaview to take on Crusaders in a game where Noel Bailie made his 1,000th appearance for Linfield, which was commemorated with a banner.

A win for Linfield that day would have secured the title, but a 0-0 draw meant that champagne was on ice.

A 1-0 win over Cliftonville on the following Tuesday night meant Linfield were champions, and I had my camera there to capture.

Dublin Blog

Sheffield/Manchester/Liverpool Blog

James Review

James Photos

Linfield Champions 2010 Photos

CRUSADERS 0-0 LINFIELD 24.4.2010

Not quite the photos I was hoping to get (I had hoped to get photos of a pitch invasion and celebrations, which unfortunately has been delayed) from today’s game.

At least today’s game will be remembered, not for Linfield’s 49th title, but for a higher milestone, Noel Bailie’s 1000th appearance for Linfield.

To commemorate this, a banner was unveiled at the Railway End (to the left of the TV screen if watching a match from Seaview on BBC or UTV) prior to kick-off.

I intend on having a more in-depth tribute to Bailie later this weekend.

As well as the banner, also got some match action.

NOEL BAILIE – SHOOT

That’s not something you hear very often, especially as he isn’t renowned for his shooting, but that’s not why we love him.

Just giving a bit of a plug to an article in the current edition of Shoot magazine, focusing on Linfield captain Noel Bailie.

Shoot ceased publishing in 2008, and is only available on pdf from the Shoot website.

The appearance count is currently on 997. With games running out this season, it will be very tight as to wether he can get the 1,000 this season.

Even if he doesn’t, it won’t make him any less of a legend.

Click on the link and scroll to page 44

NOEL BAILIE – LEGEND

Just thought i’d use this platform to promote a Facebook group worth joining.

For those who don’t know, Noel Bailie has made 997 appearances for Linfield, and hopefully this achievement and service to his club (and football in general) will get acknowledged on a national scale.

His 1,000th appearance is due at some point in mid-April, although he did leave the pitch early during Linfield’s win over Institute on Friday night, though the injury is not thought to be serious.

One of the big fears I had as the magic number approaches is that he may fall short, and there may be some sense of disappointment. If his final career tally is only three figures, it won’t make him any less of a legend.

Mentally, i’ve got a joint tribute blog for himself and Glenn Ferguson (Who is scheduled to retire at the end of the season) written in my head, but i’m going to wait until the end of the season, as to put anything down on my desktop now would be like writing a premature obituary, to be held in stock until an appropriate time.

Such is Noel’s modesty, the only medal he is looking to be presented to him this year is a Gibson Cup one, and the only day out he wants will be the Irish Cup Final.

Feel free to join the group, and help see a local man who has done so much for a game we all love.

Noel Bailie is everything that is good about football. I’m glad he plays for my club.