Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Portadown boss McFall the toast of Stormont

First Minister Peter Robinson welcomes Portadown manager Ronnie McFall to Stormont to mark his 25 years at the club. Also|pictured are MLAs Stephen Moutray, Sydney Anderson and Upper Bann MP David Simpson

He's Northern Ireland football’s equivalent to Sir Alex Ferguson and while Ronnie McFall has yet to be honoured with a knighthood, his longevity as manager of Portadown continues to be recognised in high places.

Just last week McFall’s achievements in 25 years at Shamrock Park were acknowledged by the House of Commons after an Early Day Motion was moved by the DUP’s Upper Bann MP David Simpson.

Ferguson has been manager of Manchester United just a month longer.

And last night McFall and members of his family attended a celebration dinner at Stormont in tribute of his two-and-a-half decades of service in charge of the Ports, which has brought the club unprecedented success.

Four times they have won the league under McFall’s management, with three Irish Cup triumphs along the way too — the first of those coming in 1991 when the Ports actually won the double.

“It is nice to be recognised in any way and it’s an honour to be invited by the Assembly,” said McFall.

A fifth league title triumph would be the perfect way for McFall to mark his quarter of a century as boss of his hometown club.

Currently they are just two points behind Linfield at the top of the Carling Premiership, but a spate of injuries to key players is threatening to put the skids under their challenge for the big prize.

Tim Mouncey is the latest to join the injury list and McFall expects him to be sidelined for ‘months rather than weeks.’

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