Causeway Chronicle

Steven Davis opens 40th anniversary SuperCupNI at a packed Showgrounds

FOOTBALL is a game of opinions for anyone who doesn’t play or used to play, and it’s fact, not opinion, that the SuperCupNI is the Premier Competition in Britain if not Europe.

Thousands lined the streets to welcome this year’s players from all over Britain, the Republic of Ireland and Europe, including the Americas and Asia, a truly global tournament.

As the teams arrived at the Showgrounds, within minutes thousands of those who had lined the streets had filtered into the Ballycastle Road Showgrounds for the opening ceremony, carried out by Guest of Honour and Rangers and Northern Ireland International star Steven Davies.

As is customary, the team paraded into the Showgrounds from the Ballycastle Road end and lined up facing the main stand. Causeway Coast and Glens Mayor Cllr. Steven Callaghan was joined on the dais by Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim and Representatives of Newtownabbey Borough Council.

However, perhaps the loudest cheer of the evening was reserved for Guest of Honour Steven Davies who performed the opening ceremony and unveiled the SuperCupNI flag to declare the tournament officially live.

It was a smooth run ceremony at the Showgrounds, thanks to the precision of the SuperCupNI staff and the excellent master of ceremonies Alan Simpson, main continuity announcer on match day at Coleraine’s home games who ensured everything ran like clockwork.

After the Opening Ceremony quests were entertained to dinner at the Lodge Hotel, where Alan Simpson again ensured the smooth running continued by welcoming guests and inviting the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Cllr. Steven Callaghan to give his address, followed by a warm welcome to this year’s participating teams by the Chairman of the SuperCupNI Victor Leonard.

After dinner, well-known journalist and broadcaster Grant Cameron, a man who has been instrumental in supporting the Milk Cup and SuperCupNi for many decades held a short Q&A with Steven Davis, Guest of Honour.

Presentations followed with a special presentation to Ron Moody, the man in charge at the Castlerock SuperCupNI venue for the past 40 years. He was presented with a cut glass moment by the Chairman, Victor Leonard.

Other presentations were made to the evening’s two honoured guests, Steven Davis who performed the opening ceremony and to Oscar winner James Martin, star of “An Irish Goodbye”, who also attended the opening.

It’s down to business today (Monday), with games kicking off at various venues across the Province. Anyone wishing to avail of information at fixtures can purchase one of he SuperCupNI programmes on sale in newsagents across he Causeway Coast and Glens.

Guest of Honour, Rangers and Northern Ireland International Steven Davis is presented by with a cut glass momento by SuperCupNI Chairman Victor Leonard.

An Irish Goodby Oscar winner James Martin is presented by with a cut glass momento by SuperCupNI Chairman Victor Leonard.

Ron Moody is presented by with a cut glass momento by SuperCupNI Chairman Victor Leonard in recognition of 40 years service to the SuperCupNi at Castlerock.

Well-known journalist and broadcaster Grant Cameron, who has been instrumental in supporting the Milk Cup and SuperCupNI for many decades holds a short Q&A with Steven Davis, Guest of Honour.

SuperCupNI Special Guests pictured at the Lodge Hotel.

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Maurice Bradley