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Harry Wallace death: Ex-League secretary (88) was much in demand

Obituary

One of Northern Ireland football's most experienced and highly respected administrators, Harry Wallace, has passed away at the age of 88.

His first involvement in football came after World War II, as a referee and the highlight of Harry's career as an official came when he took charge of the 1958 Steel & Sons Cup final.

Immediately after hanging up his whistle - and still only in his early 30s - Harry's administrative ability had been spotted by the County Antrim FA and he acted as secretary of the association from 1959 to 1963.

At that stage his expertise made Harry a wanted man and within the space of a few months he was appointed as assistant secretary of the Ulster Farmers Union and assistant secretary of the Ulster Unionist Council, before being handed his first significant job in football.

Harry began working as secretary of Linfield in December 1963 and was at Windsor Park for seven years, during which he instrumental in the managerial appointments of Ewan Fenton and Billy Bingham.

After leaving Linfield in 1970 Harry switched sports and became the secretary/manager of Shandon Park Golf Club.

Football was always his first love though and when the Irish League was left without someone to run operations when secretary Mervyn Brown passed away in 1993, they turned to Harry to fill the void.

The appointment was initially meant to be short term, particularly as Harry was in his late 60s at the time, but such was the way in which he carried out the job, he was still in situ when the Irish League and Irish FA merged more than a decade later.

Harry is survived by his wife Rosemary.

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