News of Ronnie McFall’s decision to step down as Portadown manager after 29 years has attracted widespread acitivity across social media platforms.
Messages posted on Twitter and Facebook included tributes from within Irish League circles and high-profile journalist Piers Morgan:
@piersmorgan: BREAKING NEWS: Arsène Wenger is now longest-serving manager in European football after Ronnie McFall quit Portadown last night.
@hunter9346: Big Ronaldo brought me to ports after a bad year football wise. 2 great years under him. I thank him for that. 29 years, some going. ⚽
@mc_pat2: Today is the end of a very long era. Big Ronnie is and always will be a legend. An all-time great. Enjoy your retirement, #stayinvolved
@PMcGSports: Disappointed to hear of Ronnie stepping down. As a youth player at Portadown watching Stewart, Strain, Cowan and co. I understand the work he did as manager. A genuinely passionate footballing man, good luck in the future.
Matthew Tipton: I want to place on record my gratitude to Ronnie McFall for what he done for me in bringing me over here & giving Becci Tipton myself & boys the opportunity to make a new start for ourselves & one that we have loved since day one.
Portadown FC Youth: As I’m sure everyone is aware, senior club manager Ronnie McFall MBE has resigned following today’s game. All at Portadown FC youth would like to express our gratitude and thanks for all Ronnie has achieved in his 29 years in charge. In that time, whilst becoming the longest serving manger in European football, the club lifted its first ever league title and completed the double also the following year. No fewer than 23 cups were lifted including 4 league titles, 3 Irish cups, 2 league cups alongside 5 manger of the year awards. Turning a provincial club into one of the main clubs in the country was a superb achievement and a legacy that Ronnie has left behind that we at the youth academy intend to build on in the coming years. Sometimes the word legend is used too easily, but I think in this instance, bearing in mind what he has achieved, it’s a word that sums Ronnie up perfectly. Thank you for the memories . Finally the Youth committee would like to take this opportunity to wish Ronnie and his wife Anne all the best for future years #portsfamily
@neiller3: Sorry to see one of the biggest names in the Irish league go. Gave me my chance will never forget him legend. #ronnie Mcfall
@alfiestewart6: 12 years as a player under Ronnie McFall at two clubs and i would have run through a brick wall for him. Wonderful memories but a sad end.
@chris_crilly: A man that took a chance on me back in ‘01 when i signed for @Portadownfc at 17 yrs old,thank you Ronnie McFall,one of our league’s legends!
@brianwstrain: Proud to serve under him for 14 years.Enjoy your time off Ronnie.History maker in many ways.
@JakeyyBoyy_: Fans know what he did for the club and so did the players! A man who give me my chance and I hold the highest respect for! Cheers Ronnie!
@dickyclarke: Big Ronnie and absolute colossus of Irish League and a total gentleman who I hold in the highest esteem. Hope the fans remember good times!