legends back in the limelight

Glenavon’s Irish Cup-winning legends of the past will once again step into the limelight ahead of the big game at Windsor Park on Saturday.

Eleven stars from the 1950s to the 1990s have been invited to the cup final by the Irish Football Association.

Among them will be Sammy Wilson who played in the three cup-winning teams of 1957, ’59 and ’61. The Dromore man scored with a diving header in the 5-1 win over Linfield in 1961 and was later transferred to Falkirk.

Jackie Hughes, who playued in the 1959 and ’61 finals along with John Dugan, also from the ’61 final will be there.

They will be joined by members of the ’92 team which beat Linfield 2-1 including Dean McCullough, Raymond McCoy, Geoff Ferris,Paul Byrne and Gerard McMahon. Byrne also played in the lastGlenavon cup-winning team in 1997 along with Tony Grant, Gary Smyth and goalkeeper Robbie Beck.

“It’s a great gesture from the IFA to invite some of our great players back,” said Glenavon chairman Adrian Teer.

“For the likes of Sammy Wilson, Jackie Hughes and John Dugan to step out at Windsor Park once again will make it a very special day for them.

“Hopefully all those winners will help inspire the team of 2014 on to victory.”

The Glenavon party will begin early on Saturday morning will all three supporters’ clubs open from 11.00am.

The Bedeck Suite will be serving breakfast from 9.00am.

There will be face painting and a bouncey castle for the young fans.

The team will leave at 10.30am for Belfast where they will have a pre-match meal.

Win or lose, the players and fans will head back to Mournview Park after the game where the annual Glenavon FC Club Awards will be presented in the Bedeck Suite.

The Victoria GSC buses are leaving Mourneview Park at 12.45pm. Both are fully booked.

The Triangle Glenavon SC buses will be leaving Mourneview Park at 1.00pm sharp and going straight on to the motorway at Lurgan. The clubroom will be open from 11.00am.

William Walker buses will also leave Mourneview Park at 1.00pm.

The 52-page official souvenir programme for Saturday’s Irish Cup Final (right) should be a collector’s item for fans of the two clubs.

The Irish FA publicationis packed with data on the two teams plus nostalgic features looking back to previous finals involving both Glenavon and Ballymena United.

Priced £3, it will be on sale at all entrances to the Windsor Park stadium.