Mr Sunnyside is caught out with a ‘This is Your Life’ tribute

Dick Craig, second left, at the Sunnyside re-union with Frank McAlinden, Jackie Lennon and Billy Murray. INLM4212-229
Dick Craig, second left, at the Sunnyside re-union with Frank McAlinden, Jackie Lennon and Billy Murray. INLM4212-229
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DICK Craig - or Mr Sunnyside as he was known - received a big surprise back in 1987.

While he had arranged a re-union dinner for followers and players of the ‘Wee Reds’ unknown to him another group were organising a ‘This is Your Life’ special on him.

And when Fred Bunting, in his Eamonn Andrews role, stepped forward with the big red book in his hands Dick was literally dumbfounded.

A few years previously Sunnyside had held a re-union dinner and it was such a success it was decided that another would go down well.

Dick took it in himself to organise the get together in Lurgan Golf Club.

He had invited Glenavon ‘greats’ such as Jimmy McAlinden, Jackie Denver, Jimmy Jones and Arthur Brady but in the end it was Dick who was the star of the show.

After taking his place in the ‘hot seat’ Dick listened while old friends and former players paid tribute to his work and enthusiasm not only for Sunnyside but for junior football in general.

As Fred Bunting brought on guest after guest they recalled the glory days of the Sunnyside club and, laced with humour, they told stories of their involvement with Dick.

The evening was a fitting tribute to a man who encouraged so many young people to play football and gave them a chance to break through to a higher grade.

Always popular with the young players his love for the game rubbed off onto them and his enthusiasm carried them to trophy after trophy.