Honour for five football greats from city

FIVE of Londonderry's most famous footballing sons - Jobby Crossan, Noel Young, Fay Coyle, Harry Waterstone and Billy Nelis - who were part of the Gold Cup winning Coleraine FC team from 1958 are set to be honoured at a special Gala Dinner this Saturday night.

The event, which is being organised by the club, will honour the achievements of the team and in particular the goalkeeper Victor Hunter, who has over 50 years service with the Bannsiders.

Victor, who is the current Coleraine Colts manager, has devoted the majority of his life to Coleraine and this is seen as a fitting tribute for the 70-year-old.

Hunter joined the Bannsiders at the start of the 1956-57 season from north west rivals Derry City and ironically made his debut against the Brandywell outfit several months later.

In 1958 the side, which included the likes of Hunter, McIlreavy, Crossan and Coyle, pulled off a major shock by beating the mighty Glentoran to win the Gold Cup for the second time in their history.

Few had given the Bannsiders much of a chance of upsetting the men from East Belfast, who had recently beaten Coleraine 7-1.

But they hadn't reckoned on the Bannsiders fighting spirit as 'Jobby' Crossan fired home a superb goal to take the cup back to the Showgrounds.

Crossan's strike in the 17th minute was fit to grace any final and confirmed Peter Doherty's claim that he would not look out of place playing in the Northern Ireland team.

The club is currently in the process of contacting the surviving members of the team, unfortunately though there are only six remaining players: Victor Hunter; Frank McIlreavy; Noel Young; John (Jobby) Crossan; Hubert Barr; Robin Trainor.

In 2007 the club were saddened to here that three of the team, Fay Coyle, Clancy McDermott and Harry Waterstone, had passed away, but it is hoped that this will be a fitting tribute to them and the rest of the team.

Tickets are priced at 30 each or 300 for a table of 10 and are available from the Club Shop or from any member of the Management Committee.

The evening will get underway at 7.30pm for 8pm at the Magherabuoy House Hotel in Portrush. There will also be an auction and music will be by Perfect Remedy. Dress code is smart casual.