IRISH CUP FINAL: Strain calling on fans to support Mills cause

Portadown captain Brian Strain holds aloft the Irish Cup at Shamrock Park in 1999. Pic by Pacemaker.
Portadown captain Brian Strain holds aloft the Irish Cup at Shamrock Park in 1999. Pic by Pacemaker.
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The highly-successful past club captain has recruited Gregg Davidson for a special cause in memory of former team-mate David Mills and is calling on the Ports fans to dig deep and support the fundraiser.

Strain and Davidson will be selling raffle tickets at The Oval for the 1989/90 league winner’s medal put forward by Sandy Fraser to raise money for the family of the late Mills.

Proceeds from the raffle of the historic Irish League item will go towards the family of Mills,

“That is the plan and we would love to shift as many as possible before the match to fans coming into the ground,” said Strain. “I know the support so far has been excellent and it is a brilliant cause and wonderful sentiment by Sandy.

“Davy’s family certainly appreciate the gesture and support.

“The raffle has the blessing of the Mills family.

“That league title holds treasured memories for us all, especially as it was the first in club history.

“An occasion like the Irish Cup final helps to bring everyone together connected to Portadown Football Club.”

Tickets will be available from Portadown Football or past players for £1, with the raffle at the May 9 awards night.

HISTORY

Club historian Trevor Clydesdale takes a look back into the Irish Cup archives:

1962: Portadown and Linfield entered the final as league rivals, with over 26,000 fans in The Oval to watch the Belfast side win by 4-0.

PORTADOWN: Kydd, Burke, Loughlin, Cush, Beattie, Campbell, Gillespie, McMillen, Gorman, Wilson, Callan.

1972: Portadown dominated against Coleraine but the Bannsiders made the most of limited opportunities to record a 2-1 win. Trevor Anderson added his name to club history as the first Portadown player to score in the Irish Cup final.

PORTADOWN: Carlisle, Strain, McFall, Malcolmson, Lunn, Hutton, R.Morrison, McGowan, Anderson, B.Morrison, Fleming.

1979: Jim Campbell and Jim Alexander found the net for the Ports against Cliftonville but Tony Bell, a former Portadown player, settled the match with a last-minute strike at 3-2.

PORTADOWN: McCollum, Smyth, Dougan, Wilson, Kilburn, Cleary, Gordon, Magee (Bell, 66), Alexander, Campbell, Quinn.

1990: It was off to Windsor Park eight days after wrapping up that inaugural league prize but hopes of the ‘doube’ were dashed by a 3-0 defeat to Glentoran.

PORTADOWN: Keenan, Major, Curliss, McKeever (Bell, 70), Strain, Stewart, Mills (Cunningham, 65), McCreadie, Cowan, Fraser, Davidson.

1991: A Mid-Ulster derby classic played out in glorious sunshine, tartan and bagpipes in front of a sea of red and blue on May 4.

On a day treasured by Ports fans, Stevie Cowan’s brace sealed a first Irish Cup and secured the domestic double with a 2-1 defeat of Glenavon.

PORTADOWN: Keenan, Major, Curliss, Cunningham, Strain, Stewart, Doolin, Rafferty, Fraser, Cowan, Davidson.

1999: Cliftonville’s exit from the competiiton due to player ineligibility resulted in a trophy presentation to Portadown at Shamrock Park.

2000: The first final of the new Millennium ended in a single-goal defeat to Glentoran.

PORTADOWN: Dalton, Brown, O’Hara, Byrne, Strain, Larkin, Clarke, Sheridan, Arkins, Hill (Davidson, 65).

2002: Annaghmore’s Kyle Neill handed the Ports a dream start against Linfield with a goal on six minutes - however, Linfield bounced back to finish 2-1 in front.

PORTADOWN: Keenan, Douglas, O’Hara, McCann, Feeney (Ogden, 25), Major, Clarke (A.Hamilton, 63), Collins, G.Hamilton, Arkins, Neill.

2005: A third Irish Cup triumph in club history arrived with a 5-1 defeat of Larne. Former Portadown player Neil Ogden handed Larne the lead but Vinny Arkins’ brace alongside goals by John Convery, Marc McCann and Darren Kelly secured the silverware.

PORTADOWN: Murphy, Feeney (Quinn, 80), O’Hara, Clarke, Convery, Kelly, Boyle, Collins, Neill (P.McCann, 49), M.McCann (Hamilton, 47).

2010: Portadown conceded early goals before Kevin Braniff’s strike against Linfield in a 2-1 defeat.

PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Redman, Clarke (Teggart, 82), Kelly, Boyle, Braniff, Mouncey, Baker (Lecky, 66), Hunter (McCluskey, 57), Topley, Mackle.