Gordon Woolsey’s connection to Portadown Football Club was formed as a 10-year-old during a school trip to Shamrock Park.
That bond has led to Woolsey inspiring future generations in similar fashion thanks to his role as the club’s community relations liaison officer.
Enjoying his first season in the voluntary position, Woolsey’s remit covers helping to establish a fresh fanbase alongside enhancing the existing links between the community and the Ports.
The labour of love covers two points of passion for Woolsey.
“I started to support the club after visiting a match with Richmount Primary School,” he said. “I was ballboy the day we won the Irish League in 2002 and a season ticket holder for many years.
“That title-winning squad was so talented and I loved following the Ports home and away.
“Now other commitments limit my opportunities mainly to home games but I love the chance to promote my club to other people.
“Now I get to help other children have that connection and it is wonderful to introduce someone to the club on a group visit then bump into that person down the line back at Shamrock Park as a fan.”
Woolsey has long-standing connections to community groups thanks to various existing voluntary roles such as Scotch Street Youth Club treasurer and the Community Intercultural Programme’s ethnic youth inclusion officer.
“It is a pretty flexible role but I am keen on spending this first season building links with as many schools, church groups and youth organisations as possible from all areas of the community,” said Woolsey. “My existing connections help but we really want to open Shamrock Park to a wide range of people.
“It is a learning process in terms of trying to build the role and raise awareness but I find it really enjoyable.”
Any groups or individuals interested in finding out more can contact Woolsey on 07599806050 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.