We're all so proud of Carl Frampton: Tigers Bay toasts one of its own
The streets of Tigers Bay in north Belfast were noticeably quiet yesterday afternoon as fans of Carl Frampton recovered from a late night celebrating the success of their local hero.
Following the Jackal's victory over Leo Santa Cruz, many partied into the early hours. But despite the sore heads, the pride this working-class community feels for one of its own was obvious, with banners showing their support hanging from windows and the mere mention of his name bringing a smile to everyone on the street.
Many people in the area still feel a real connection to the boxer because they watched him turn from schoolboy to world champion.
Norma Sime said she helped to look after Carl after his mother Flo became pregnant with his younger brother.
"I used to take him to church on a Sunday because she was having her second baby," she added. "He was really cute and funny. He was lovely and always a very good boy. He was just like any other child.
"We didn't think that he would go on to be a boxer and the best in the world. I would have seen him going to training with his daddy and, faithfully, every night he was there, but we thought it was just a wee hobby.
"But we're all over the moon for him now. Everyone is so proud of what he's done."
Jordan Laughlin, who has lived in Tigers Bay all his life, said Frampton's success had a positive impact on the area. "It's great to see someone from here doing so well," he explained. "It's brought everyone together, and he can inspire people to do whatever they want."
Billy Stewart, still wearing his Team Frampton T-shirt, added: "He's a really good lad and he deserves everything he gets. He's very dedicated to his work. He has to leave his family all the time. He's put the work in and has got the reward now."
His granddaughter Morgan Stewart has supported the Jackal since she was six or seven. The 11-year-old has been to all his fights here, and has plastered her house - both inside and out - with pictures of Frampton.
"He lived just up the street and I feel like I have a bit of a connection to him because of that," she said. "I've met him a few times and he's always really nice."