Northern Ireland football fans spend extra time in Coventry after Storm Ciara delay

A group of 11 football fans from Victoria Glenavon Supporters Club are stranded in Coventry due to a flight cancellation
A group of 11 football fans from Victoria Glenavon Supporters Club are stranded in Coventry due to a flight cancellation

A group of football fans from Lurgan are stuck in Coventry after Storm Ciara sent their weekend trip into extra time.

Eleven members of Victoria Glenavon Supporters Club made what has become an annual trip on Friday after forging a friendship with Sky Blues fan Alan Packer.

A group of 11 football fans from Victoria Glenavon Supporters Club are stranded in Coventry due to a flight cancellation

A group of 11 football fans from Victoria Glenavon Supporters Club are stranded in Coventry due to a flight cancellation

Rather than travel to watch Coventry City play at their temporary home in Birmingham, they stayed in Coventry to watch Coventry United beat South Normanton in the Midland League Premier Division.

Club vice chairman William Steele said the travelling Victoria members were extremely well looked after by Coventry United, but the trip took a turn for the worse at Birmingham Airport on Sunday night.

The Lurgan Blues fans arrived at the airport to learn their Easyjet flight to Belfast had been delayed by 50 minutes. The next announcement informed them the flight had been cancelled and to make matters worse they said no Easyjet staff were on hand to advise them how to proceed.

William Steele, Victoria vice chair, said: “We managed to get booked into a hotel on a club member’s credit card and then rebooked the flights for Tuesday at 4pm.

“At this stage we are unsure if we will receive compensation.

“The lads will make the most of another day on our trip but most of us were only here for weekend and back to our normal lives on Monday morning.

“A lot of the lads work and have had to ask for extra leave and the lads with young families just want home to their wives and kids.”

Alan Packer, who was adopted as an honorary member of Victoria GSC after his first visit to Mourneview Park in 2014, said: “The lads are a credit to their club, their town and their country.

“They have made friends all over Coventry with their friendliness and craic. They have been well received over the city particularly at Coventry United and I hope this is the start of a great relationship.

“I’m devastated for the guys with young families who didn’t get back home last night.”