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Sky sports presenter Gerry Armstrong and wife Deborah share their special family relationships

By Karen Ireland

Published 02/12/2015

Happy family: Gerry and Deborah Armstrong with daughters, Caitlin and Marianna
Happy family: Gerry and Deborah Armstrong with daughters, Caitlin and Marianna

Deborah Armstrong manages a restaurant in Majorca where she lives with husband Gerry, the ex-Northern Ireland football star who is now a Sky sports presenter. The couple have two daughters, Caitlin (15) and Marianna (9).

I present Sky football at the weekends and cover other championship games as and when I am needed.

I am also part-owner of a football club in Portugal where I am investing my time into training and developing up-and-coming young players.

Life is busy, as I also help Deborah out with the restaurant when I can. As I am at home during the week, I get plenty of time to spend with the family.

But the nature of my job means I have to be prepared to travel when needed and we do that too as a family. Next summer we will be away for several weeks in France.

I am very settled in Majorca now and we have made it our home. I love to get back to Belfast and to see everyone when we can, but home is definitely in Spain now.

I organised a party in Belfast for Deborah's birthday, as I like to spoil her when I can. She is not easy to buy for, though, as she prefers simple gestures to material things. She just loves having everyone together and celebrating with her friends and family.

I knew after Deborah and I had been out a few times that we would get married. The age gap never bothered us. It just gave some people something to talk about.

We have always got on really well together and had plenty to talk about. We love spending time together and we are at our happiest when the two of us are together.

Deborah, like me, has a flexible attitude and can just pick up and go somewhere if we need to travel because of my work. I like to keep us all together as a family.

Spending time together whether that is over lunch or dinner is what I enjoy doing best. There isn't anything about Deborah which winds me up. She knows me better than anyone and she loves me for all my faults."

Name: Gerry Armstrong

Age: 61

Occupation: Television sports presenter

Relationship to Deborah: Husband

Gerry and I are currently living in Costa De La Calma in Majorca where we have been for the past two years. We have opened a restaurant called Gerry Perri's which I run day-to-day as well as being a mum to Caitlin (15), and Marianna (9). Life is very busy - but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I had previously worked in the catering industry as did my dad, so it must be in the blood.

We bought the house in Spain 11 years ago and travelled back and forth, but a couple of years ago we decided to make it our home.

The girls love the relaxed way of life over there. They love swimming in the pool in the afternoons and having their friends over. And the restaurant is a real family affair and we all spend a great deal of time there. Customers love to come in during the season and chat to Gerry and there's always plenty of craic.

I am in Belfast this week as it is my 40th birthday and I wanted to celebrate with my family and friends here. Gerry organised a big party for me in Cafe Vaudeville.

We have been together for 13 years. He told me after 10 days of seeing each other that he wanted to get married and I told him his head was cut.

But he was right - we had found something special and different. Some people commented on the age gap at the start of our relationship, and said it would never last, but we have proved them wrong. We trust each other and are best friends.

We get on really well together and genuinely love spending time together. Gerry is the most honest person I know and I am so proud of all he has achieved in his sporting and television careers.

He is also an amazing dad and I love to see him spending time with the girls. He works at weekends, so he has plenty of time during the week to spend with us as a family.

We will celebrate this Christmas together as a family in Spain. Some of the my family will visit and I am looking forward to the festive season in Majorca. I love Christmas and I have the tree up already.

If I was to pick one thing which winds me up about Gerry, it is that, if he is watching something on TV, he gets fixated and ignores me. Marianna is exactly the same."

Name: Deborah Armstrong

Age: 40

Occupation: Restaurant owner

Relationship to Gerry: Wife

International who is now a pundit

■ Gerry Armstrong, from Fintona, Co Tyrone, is a former Northern Ireland international footballer who played for Tottenham Hotspur

■ He represented the Northern Ireland national football team and won acclaim at the 1982 FIFA World Cup, where he was the highest scoring player from the UK; this included a shock winner against hosts Spain. He presently works as a football analyst

■ Gerry and wife Deborah own and run Gerry Peri's in Majorca where they live now with their daughters

Belfast Telegraph

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