Belfast Telegraph

Lions hero unveils the highest of tributes

By Niall Crozier

The collective noun for lions is a pride.

And yesterday at George Best Belfast City Airport, there was no shortage of pride when the achievement of the 1974 British and Irish Lions was marked by Flybe, which named a plane after The Invincibles who conquered South Africa 40 years ago.

Ulstermen were to the fore in that triumph, none more than Willie-John McBride, who captained the best rugby side ever to have left these shores.

Their nickname, The Invincibles, came in acknowledgement of the record they set – played 22, won 21, drew one, lost none.

Fred Kochak, Flybe routes director, said: "Their passion, commitment and determination is legendary and we are delighted to make our own unique tribute to what they achieved and the values they continue to represent."

Skipper McBride unveiled the artwork on the Flybe Q400 to reveal the names of the entire touring party of 40 years ago

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