The football fraternity’s focus may centre on France but a corner of Portadown will play host this weekend to a small-scale European Championships.
Gerald Black has attracted a string of sporting stars to his Bannview premises down the decades - with plans now in place for a special screening of Northern Ireland’s opening EURO 2016 match.
Large numbers of supporters from the area look set to visit France to cheer on Michael O’Neill’s players in person but Black has organised an event which will feature football fans representing a string of nations.
“Lucasz Belter from Poland has been staying at Bannview for three days each week over the past few years,” said Black. “He asked about plans to screen the match.
“Lucasz has some friends coming plus we have Northern Ireland fans ready to cheer on our players, so it should be a great time.
“We also have supporters from Germany, Lithuania, England and Scotland.
“There is a barbecue planned on the roof from 3 o’clock for residents and guests, then a 50-inch television will broadcast the match.
“It is great to be able to bring the community together like this and everyone is looking forward to the day.
“Members of the general public are welcome to come along but must contact us first to keep our numbers in order.
“We had nine different nationalities staying last weekend and there is real excitement over EURO 2016.
“I remember watching Wilbur Cush play for Northern Ireland at Windsor Park as a child and it is brilliant to think we are about to see us play in the European Championships for the first time.”
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