Belfast Telegraph

Martin McGuinness at Windsor Park to cheer on beloved Candystripes

By Amanda Poole

The Deputy First Minister paid his first visit to Windsor Park for nearly half-a-century to watch Derry City play Linfield.

Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness attended the home of Northern Ireland football amid tight security last night to watch the Setanta Sports Cup match.

The last time he was at the Belfast venue was as a boy in 1964 to watch Derry — then still in the Irish League — beat Glentoran 2-0 in the Irish Cup final.

Last night he said: “I came here as a boy with my late father to see Derry City beat Glentoran 2-0 in an Irish Cup final.

“I’ve had a wonderful reception and I want to pay tribute to Linfield. I’m a sports person and I’m here to enjoy the game. I pray and hope Linfield get the same warm welcome at the Brandywell in the return leg.”

The Deputy First Minister said he had thoroughly enjoyed his visit to Windsor Park and said he “would have no difficulty at all” returning for a Northern Ireland International.

“I have said in the past that I would. I would do that in consultation with the Irish Football Association,” he said.

The match ended 1-1.

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