COLERAINE FC is pleased to announce that two special guests will be at The Showgrounds tomorrow afternoon…
Rory Hamill and Tony O’Doherty will return to the Ballycastle Road for the game against Dungannon Swifts.
The two gentlemen are guests of Honorary Vice President, Frankie Moffatt, who gave a glowing reference for the pair.
Rory Hamill is my special guest attending the Corporate Lunch and then coming along to the match afterwards.
I am sure that Rory needs no introduction to Coleraine supporters as he is truly “one of our own.”
Rory started his football journey playing for Killowen youth team where he was coached by Raymond Starrett and Lexie Smith before signing Apprentice Professional terms at Southampton. He returned home with an injury but after playing for Portstewart FC in the NI Intermediate League, he was quickly snapped up by Fulham making his debut almost immediately after returning to England.
Rory has been capped at all levels by NI from schoolboy right up to full international and whilst he has represented a number of teams in the Irish League, he got to fulfil a childhood ambition when he signed for Coleraine in 2001.
He went on to play 135 games scoring 42 goals and was a member of Marty Quinn’s Irish Cup winning team against Glentoran. A simply wonderful player who gave his all in every game he played. A great lad, full of life and remains a great friend to this day.
My second guest coming along tomorrow but for the match only is Tony O’Doherty.
This is a player who the older supporters will remember very well and whose name will always crop up amongst the best to have ever played for the club. Tony made his senior team debut in 1964 having progressed through the youth system set up by the great Bertie Peacock. He went onto play 220 times for the club scoring three goals before his departure in 1971.
However, these few statistics do not do justice to this wonderful player who was capped at amateur, U23 and finally full international level by NI and represented the Irish League representative side many times during the late 60’s early 70’s.
He was a Rolls Royce of a player who seemed to glide over the pitch never having to make a tackle due to his reading of the game and snuffing out danger before it happened. He is probably the cleverest player that I ever played with and who amongst us that saw his debut for NI versus England at Wembley in 1970 could ever forget the masterclass he gave in that game playing out of position in midfield.
Tony went on to represent Derry City, Finn Harps and Ballymena United and was one of the main contributors to bringing senior football back to Derry with their acceptance into the League of Ireland. A true legend of the game both sides of the border and a player who in my opinion is in the top five that I have ever seen wearing our colours.