Here at portadownfc.co.uk we have decided to shine a much deserved light on the volunteers at the club that work so hard behind the scenes to make sure all aspects of your football club work like a well oiled machine, from ticket sellers to club shop to media team we all have a part to play and we want to hear from the many stories from all around the club so you can see what they actually get up to and how they contribute.
Next up we have Steven Wright.
Role at Club: Stadium Announcer.
How long have you been volunteering at PFC: Believe it or not, on and off for over forty years, ever since I was a programme seller as a teenager when Trevor Magee was Commercial Manager at the club.
Have you always done this role and if not what else have you around the club: I was on the programme committee (I compiled the quiz section) in the late 1990s when the late Lindsay Kilpatrick was Editor. When Lindsay sadly passed away in 1999, Ian Downey and I took over running the Junior Ports membership scheme, an initiative that Lindsay started (amazing
to see some of the Junior Ports at that time are now adults). I also held the role of Football Community Officer for a number of years, visiting local local schools and youth groups, organising matchday visits to Shamrock Park and also arranging the mascots for both home and away games, including a number of Cup Finals and Northern Ireland under – 21 internationals.
Ian and I also helped with the match programme, along with a committee spearheaded by Bill Emerson, Nat Richardson (a former Editor) and others. In subsequent years, I. became Deputy Editor, initially under Ian, and then became Editor and then Co – Editor, when I had the privilege of working with my good friend, Trevor Clydesdale, simply a genius with statistics and recalling past matches.
Helping with ‘Ports In Focus’ was time consuming, but enjoyable as it was good to see the work that we had put in during the week in print and it was even more pleasing to hear the positive comments and knowing that at some games, the programme was a sell – out.
What first got you involved: In 2003, Bill Emerson asked me to do the microphone before a game when the regular PA man, the legendary Alan Wright was unavailable. In subsequent years, work commitments made it more difficult to do the job on a regular basis until 2011 when I retired from Royal Mail on health grounds. By that stage, Alan had relinquished the PA announcers post permanently and I have been doing the job (badly, some may say!) ever since then. When I first heard the late Bob Radcliffe on the tannoy system in the old race control box many years ago, I never thought that one day I would be doing the job, but I am – and I really enjoy it.
What is your earliest memory at PFC: My late grandfather brought me to my first game in the late 1960s, but my first memories are the on and off field antics of both Terry Kingon and manager Gibby McKenzie. Also, there was a man called Ernie Herron who sat behind us in the old grandstand whose views on the game were both forthright and humourous to say the least!
I went to the 1972 Irish Cup semi-final at Ballymena Showgrounds when Brian Morrison scored both goals to defeat Derry City. Brian still helps at the club, doing the turnstiles on home matchdays and we are also colleagues at Thomas Street Methodist Church. A real hero of mine.
What’s your favourite memory at the Ports: The first league championship success in 1990 was a highlight, especially the final game of the season against Linfield and also the previous week’s nail-biting encounter at Ards. European games at Shamrock Park, either at club or international level are always special. Unfortunately, this summer’s UEFA Under – 19 Championship Finals which were due to be hosted by Northern Ireland (Shamrock Park was one of the grounds that was to be used) have been postponed due to the Covid19 pandemic. Hopefully, it can be re-arranged for a later date.