Fond farewell for BBC football commentator Jackie Fullerton after final whistle sounds on broadcasting career
Veteran broadcaster Jackie Fullerton was given a fond farewell for his final match commentary.
The Ballymena man has been the voice of local football for 43 years.
The Belfast Telegraph revealed that the 73-year-old would not feature as part of the BBC's coverage of the Green and White Army's French adventures at the European Championships.
And on Saturday, Fullerton called his final match; the Irish Cup Final between Glenavon and Linfield alongside David Jeffrey who Jackie joked was manager of "the club I own," Ballymena United.
The BBC played an emotional tribute to the father-of-three which brought a tear to his eye and many took to Twitter to give their appreciation.
Having commentated on the Northern Ireland team for 37 years, he estimates he called over 100 matches.
Speaking to this newspaper ahead of the final whistle, Jackie said he had no regrets, just highlights.
"Commenting on the England match in 1979 (European Championship qualifier, 4-0 to England) was a special moment for me," he said.
"As a young footballer (he played for Ballymena United, Cliftonville, Derry City and Crusaders) I, like many others, dreamed of playing at Wembley. It didn't happen, but commentating was the next best thing."
End of an era today as my friend Jackie Fullerton hangs up the mic after 43 years. Good luck with your retirement. pic.twitter.com/FR1mvEoYY9— Stephen Watson (@winkerwatson1) May 7, 2016
Fare well to the most recognisable voice in Northern Irish sport, Jackie Fullerton MBE. Enjoy retirement mate— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) May 7, 2016
Gentleman Jackie Fullerton hangs up the mic today. As generous and helpful a broadcaster as I have ever met. The industry salutes him.— Frank Mitchell (@FrankU105) May 7, 2016
A salute to Jackie Fullerton. A great man. Any chance the retirement could also apply to the singing? Legend!— Ken Reid (@KenReid_utv) May 7, 2016
Jackie Fullerton so much part of media landscape in NI. He was given a great farewell today by @BBCnireland Deservedly so. A gentleman— Deric Henderson (@derichenderson) May 7, 2016