MILK CUP: 'Bertie's boy' makes history

A COLERAINE goalkeeper is making history at this week's MIlk Cup.

Luke Forgrave (15) is the first Bertie Peacock Youths player to be selected for the tournament.

Luke will ensure that the memory of one of the founder members of the Milk Cup will live on.

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For the great Bertie Peacock, who won 31 caps for Northern Ireland, alongside Jim Weir and Victor Leonard, was the inspiration behind the tournament which started back in 1983.

With just 16 teams at the opening tournament, the organising committee has now made the spectacle one of the best youth football competitions in the world.

Bertie Peacock Youths was set up in 2006, the same year that the statue of was unveiled in the Diamond in Coleraine. As a cross-community club Bertie Peacock Youths have had many successes in their short existence.

Luke is brimming with pride at his selection for the County Londonderry junior side, and he's hoping that his link with the Peacock's will bring him luck in the tournament.

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"I was really pleased to get selected for the Milk Cup, I have always watched it growing up in Coleraine.

"When I found out I was the first player from Bertie Peacock Youths to play, I was really proud, I just hope I do well for the club."

Luke's coach, Neil Leese wished him all the best this week: "We're really really proud of Luke, and the seven other players who made it through to the final stages of the selection process.

"This gives the younger players in the club something to strive towards, and that's what we're all about - developing young players.

"Luke has put in a lot of hard work this season.

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"We moved to the National League this year and finished 11th out of 19 teams. Luke has really put his head down and he deserves to be where he is at.

"If other players have the same determination I have no doubt that next year we will have a few more playing in the Milk Cup."