Mid-Ulster to mark 125th anniversary

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THE Mid-Ulster Football Association is planning a spectacular 125th anniversary dinner on May 26 this year.

Special guests from the top table of Northern Ireland football will be attending the Gala Night to celebrate the Association’s illustrious history.

The Mid-Ulster Football Association has brought Mid-Ulster and Northern Ireland honour on an all Ireland scale, British Isles level, European platform and World stage.

On a world level the Mid-Ulster Football Association continues to be one of four constituent parts of the Irish Football Association, who with the other British Associations and FIFA representation form the globe’s International FA board and vote on the laws of the game.

Indeed many years ago football’s penalty-kick idea was invented at Milford, Armagh.

Furthermore in world football’s greatest competition, The World Cup, Mid-Ulster has provided many key players, such as Pat Jennings and Wilbur Cush, for the finals in Mexico of 1986, Spain 1982 and Sweden 1958, where Northern Ireland achieved lauded success.

On a European level, a team from Mid-Ulster, Glenavon, was the first Irish league club to win entry into European competition, the European Champions Cup, in 1957.

The Association is totally cross community driven, and even going back to the dark days of the country’s Troubles in the 1970s, Portadown brought Mid-Ulster honour by becoming Texaco All Ireland Champions in 1973-74. Glenavon were also North South Cup Winners in 1962-63.

The Association continues to run Ireland’s oldest 125 year football competition, the Mid-Ulster Cup, with the inaugural trophy being won by Armagh’s Milford in 1887-88.

The Association is in the process of seeking support from its local councils and businesses to share in its Anniversary Dinner, with corporate packages also being made available for the Gala Night.