NI town links extend beyond McCullough

Portadown-born Luke McCullough (left) and Conor Washington during a Northern Ireland training session in France for EURO 2016. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Portadown-born Luke McCullough (left) and Conor Washington during a Northern Ireland training session in France for EURO 2016. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Luke McCullough failed to feature in Northern Ireland’s landmark European Championships tournament debut on Sunday - but the Portadown-born defender will remain hopeful of playing a role at EURO 2016.

The weekend 1-0 defeat to Poland left Northern Ireland with a disappointing start to a first major finals in 30 years.

However, manager Michael O’Neill - who spent his early years living in Portadown - is hoping for improved fortunes against Ukraine before Tuesday’s final group date with Germany.

Links to the town extend beyond the squad - plus the hundreds of fans who have headed off to France over the past week in support of Northern Ireland.

Ian Ferguson was part of the medical team against Poland, with the doctor living in Wales and working with the NI international under 19s, plus Newport County.

Heather Wright, a familiar face with Portadown Ladies’ Hockey Club, serves on the Irish Football Association staff.