Footballing legend Jackie Fullerton MBE will be among the guests of honour as Ballymena club Wakehurst FC celebrates 50 Years in the Community next week.

The broadcasting giant, who was also a distinguished Irish League player, has described his pride at being bestowed with the title of Club Ambassador with Wakehurst, which was established in 1969.

With the help of Good Relations funding awarded by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Grants Programme, Wakehurst FC will hold a day of celebrations on Tuesday 25 February, which will conclude with a talk by Irish and Ulster Rugby International, Nigel Carr.

Players from local schools will compete in a Seven-A-Side tournament earlier in the day, followed by a presentation of medals by Mayor, Cllr Maureen Morrow, and Club President Jackson Minford.

Jackie Fullerton has paid tribute to the efforts of the club’s committee in re-establishing Wakehurst FC two years ago.

“Formed in 1969 with three of my Harryville BB mates, Francis Smith, Bertie Thompson and the late Brian Rock at the forefront, Wakehurst FC became serial winners of leagues and cups, and their name was well known throughout the junior football landscape.

“Two years ago, and after a period of demise, Wakehurst was revived and brought home to Ballymena Showgrounds, under the Chairmanship of Jimmy Davison and the drive of Director of Football, Martin Etherson, while not forgetting our very prudent Treasurer, Trevor Beatty, and Club President, Jackson Minford.

“Wakehurst is now thriving, and as Club Ambassador, that makes me very proud!”

Trevor Beatty, Wakehurst FC Treasurer, said: “No organisation has been more supportive of the club since its relaunch than Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

“They have been encouraging and supportive of our development plans and they greatly assisted our return to playing our home matches at the 3G pitch at Ballymena Showgrounds.

“The Council have also generously provided the club with a number of equipment grants and helped to fund the provision of a semi-automatic AE Defibrillator to be readily accessible at all our matches.”

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