COLERAINE supporter and website team member Jonathan McNabb is next to be asked questions on his life as a Bannsider…
1. How long have you supported Coleraine?
My father took me to my first game when I was two-years-old and he told me won that day as I fell asleep! It was to be a good day all round as we won the half-time raffle which was a signed first-team shirt which I have framed in my house. I have been to matches ever since and travelled all over. Love it!
2. What’s your first memory?
My first memory is the 2003 Irish Cup final when I was nine-years-old as I can remember bits and pieces from the day. For example, I remember the atmosphere when Jody Tolan scored, Tim McCann hitting the woodwork about 7 times and the scenes at full-time. Will always remember being on the team bus for the cup parade around the town. We also had the Irish Cup in my house and I think I slept beside it. Not a bad first memory!
3. Any funny stories from your time as a supporter?
There’s a few which can’t be mentioned ever…but I remember when we played Institute at Drumahoe and I was really hungry so got a chip at half-time. I think I had about two chips, before Jody Tolan hit a shot over the bar and into the tray of chips. Was gutted!
Credible mention for the time I appeared on Sky Sports wearing a blue wig watching us getting hammered by Portadown, or ripping my trousers from the top to the bottom – in an area you don’t want to rip – celebrating Stephen Lowry’s last minute winner against Linfield.
4. Your favourite current player/past player?
With my media work at the club I’d be dead for picking a favourite player! They are all a good bunch of lads and are always available for an interview. The likes of David Ogilby, Steven Douglas and Michael Doherty have been great servants to the club, and then the younger players are all talented. If I had to pick one, it would probably be Chris Johns. In my opinion, he is the best goalkeeper in the league and I call him ‘a cat’ because he is everywhere.
Past player would have to be Stephen Carson. When you were standing in the Railway End and watching ‘Carsie’ running with the ball you always knew something would happen.
5. Your favourite away trip?
In Irish League terms, I really enjoy going to Stangmore Park and Mourneview as they are great to watch football. I was also at Stranraer for the two trips over there and they were crazy!.
However, the trip to Haugesund was brilliant and watching my mate (who I won’t name) going for a late night swim in the river will always live with me! I hope we can make European trips more often.
6. Your favourite goal?
A difficult one because there are that many that stick in my mind! The likes of McLaughlin’s semi-final winner, or his goals against Dungannon Swifts and Crusaders. Obviously, Lowry’s winner against Linfield as I thought we blew it at 2-0, and Johnny Black’s 119th minute winner against Cliftonville.
However, my favourite would have to be Neil McCafferty’s last minute free-kick against Linfield as I was in their end doing media work and how I got out alive for my celebrations I’ll never know!
7. Any favourite matches?
Aside from the 2003 Irish Cup final, the Sky Sports victories against Linfield and Cliftonville are up there because the atmosphere at those games is always great.
The Irish Cup semi-final victories over Donegal Celtic and Glenavon will always live with me, but I’ll plump for the 3-2 victory over Dundalk at Oriel Park. It would be fair to say we had a re-arranged back four and they were the best team in Ireland, but we ran out worthy winners. Just a pity we never held out at The Showgrounds in the return leg.
8. If you could sign any player from another Irish League, who would it be?
If I could sign any player for Coleraine it would be a return for Stephen Lowry. He was a fantastic player for us and has accomplished a lot at Linfield. In my opinion, on his day, he is the best midfielder in the league but might struggle for a game with the form of Brad Lyons and Ciaron Harkin.
Aside from that, I ask Santa every year for Stephen Dooley to return to the club as he’s a fantastic footballer.