Belfast Telegraph

Crusaders fan Madge served up a loyalty bonus

By Graham Luney

Are you fed up reading and hearing about Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez, Cesc Fabregas and Wayne Rooney?

Don't be fooled into thinking that football is just about the players.

Next time you visit a football club take a look around you.

Clubs are families and there are plenty of people who are committed to the cause who don't pocket £200,000 a week.

And yet without their loyal support, the family would disintegrate and clubs would not function properly.

Who am I thinking about? Turnstile operators, programme writers, programme sellers, secretaries, treasurers, directors, kitchen and bar staff, website operators, backroom staff, stadium announcers, car park attendants, stewards, groundsmen and the all important media officers – and that's before you start thanking the referees and ambulance personnel.

In Glentoran's case refer to all of the above and throw in a generous wealthy benefactor for good measure!

One of the great Crusaders servants was Madge Hunter.

Madge was last year awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to sport in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Now retired, she voluntarily served up refreshments at the north Belfast club for more than 50 years.

Now that's the kind of loyal service you don't get from pampered, rich footballers.

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