Ex Linfield manager David Jeffrey nets award from Orange Order
One of Northern Ireland’s leading sporting figures has been recognised by the Orange Institution.
David Jeffrey – best known for his hugely successful spell managing Linfield Football Club – was the recipient of the Grand Master’s Award at this year’s Orange Community Awards, held in Lisburn on Friday night.
The former footballer and Orangeman, 53, was just one of a large number of individuals, as well as lodges and musicians, to be formally acknowledged by the Loyal Order for their community work and achievements over the past 12 months.
Mr Jeffrey received the award from the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson.
Paying tribute to the Glengormley man, Mr Stevenson said: “Having won a remarkable 31 trophies during his 17-year tenure with Linfield, David’s managerial record is quite extraordinary.
“His proven leadership and motivational credentials, honed during his distinguished playing career which included representing Manchester United at youth level and the Irish League, are a benchmark and inspiring example for those involved in coaching in the local game and also further afield.
“David’s football achievements are all the more impressive given his trophy-laden career to date has been accomplished whilst employed as a full-time Senior Social Worker.
“Whether it is enhancing people’s welfare in the community or on the sports pitch, David is a role model and is a more than deserving recipient of this award.”
Mr Jeffrey said: “I am very proud and privileged to receive this award. To be recognised by the Orange Institution and the Grand Master personally is a tremendous honour. I am extremely humbled and immensely grateful to be acknowledged with such a prestigious accolade.”
Among the prize winners at ‘The Grands’ were Ballindarragh LOL 689, Co Fermanagh, who claimed the coveted Best New Banner Award. Their banner includes an artistic portrayal of an Ulster Defence Regiment patrol coming under attack from IRA terrorists near Ballagh Cross in 1974. None of the soldiers, including members of the lodge, were seriously injured in the incident. Five of the six surviving members attended the banner unfurling last year.
Other notable winners included the ‘Orange Buddies’ who claimed the Lodge Community Involvement title. The drama group, comprising Orangemen from Banbridge District and their families, have raised substantial funds for charity through their various productions. Over the past five years the group has staged a Christmas pantomime, with plays including Cinderella, the Wizard of Oz and the aptly named Snow White and the Seven Orangemen!
Portadown Orangeman and stock car world champion, Adam Hylands, scooped the Sporting Excellence Award for his outstanding success on the Hot Rods circuit.
Meanwhile, Omagh Protestant Boys Melody Flute Band and Wilby Hanna (Upper Crossgare Pipe Band) struck the ‘right note’ with judges, winning the group and individual Musicians’ Merit Awards respectively.
Mr Stevenson paid tribute to the winners and nominees in all of the respective categories.
He said: “I would like to personally congratulate each and every one of them for being standard bearers for the Institution as well as in their own communities.
"The aim of the awards is to recognise and reward excellence, and we are delighted to once again showcase the tremendous community work undertaken by individuals and lodges across the Province.”
FULL LIST OF WINNERS 2016
Grand Master’s Award: David Jeffrey
Best New Banner: Ballindarragh LOL 689
Best Banner Painter: William Magowan
Sporting Excellence: Adam Hylands
Individual Community Involvement Winner: Alan McCormick, LOL 1924
Joint Runner-up: Maynard Hanna, LOL 1943
Joint Runner-up: Conrad Clarke, LOL 222
Lodge Community Involvement Orange Buddies’: Banbridge District LOL No 7
Lodge Membership Increase: Richhill True Blues LOL 665
Exceptional Achievement: Annahoe District Junior Lodge JLOL 286
Musicians’ Merit (Group): Omagh Protestant Boys Melody Flute
Musicians’ Merit (Individual): Wilby Hanna, Upper Crossgare Pipe Band
Youth Development: Allister Erskine, Roughan LOL 103