Ronnie set for council honour

Ronnie McFall at the Irish Cup Final in 2005.
Ronnie McFall at the Irish Cup Final in 2005.

Former Portadown Football Club manager Ronnie McFall will receive the Freedom of the Borough on Saturday, May 13, in recognition of his contribution to sport.

The honour, the highest any council can impart, will be bestowed on Mr McFall at a ceremony at Craigavon Civic Centre attended by 160 guests.

Portadown FC with the Texaco Cup in 1973.

Portadown FC with the Texaco Cup in 1973.

The Portadown man is one of the longest-serving managers in European club football history, having been at the helm of Portadown FC for 29 years.

He began as a player, having made his debut for Portadown Football Club in August 1964, with early signings including Dundee United and Ards Football Club.

He returned to Portadown Football Club in 1968, and then signed for Glentoran in 1975.

Mr McFall cut his managerial teeth with Glentoran in 1979 leading the Belfast side to a League Title in 1981 and the Irish Cup in 1983, adding Ulster Cup and Gold Cup honours along the way.

After returning to Shamrock Park as manager, he went on to achieve a total of 23 League and Cup successes and won Manager of the Year on four occasions.

On his retirement in 2016 he had taken charge of 1,764 competitive games, of which 1,483 were with Portadown.

In 2008 he received an MBE in recognition of his services to Irish League football.

Lord Mayor of ABC Council, Councillor Garath Keating said, “With over 40 years in senior football both as a player and a manager, it is fair to say Ronnie has dedicated his life to football.”