Northern Ireland’s Olympic medallists all received heroes welcomes when they returned home this week.
Boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan, as well as Coleraine rowers Alan Campbell and the Chambers brother, Peter and Richard, were all lauded for their achievements across the Irish Sea.
And Glentoran fans will get the opportunity to welcome the return of one of their Oval heroes if a move to bring Stuart Elliott back to the club comes off.
Twelve years — and 36 international caps — after leaving the Oval for Motherwell, Elliott’s career could be about to come full circle.
The winger is currently making plans to move his family back to Northern Ireland — after two years out of the game he wants to play football again and the Glens aim to grant him his wish.
All that remains is for agreement to be reached — although that isn’t as straightforward as it may sound.
Darren Boyce’s departure from Glentoran earlier this week could open the door for Elliott, who is now 34-years-old, to pull on the green, red and black shirt again — although this season there is a strong white presence on the home jersey.
Everything will, however, hinge on how much of the money freed up by Boyce’s return to Coleraine the Glens board allow manager Eddie Patterson to spend.
Patterson is working off a vastly reduced budget to that which former boss Scott Young was given to sign players last summer. And that figure was much less than any of his recent predecessors.
If the Glens can do their sums and everything adds up for both the club and Elliott then the ‘welcome home’ banners can be unfurled at the Oval to mark the return of one of their favourite sons.
Elliott will always be remembered as one of the stars of the Glens 1999 Irish League title winning team — a team that |||||possessed an immense amount of creativity, flair, pace and firepower.
With Andy Kirk, David Rainey, Rory Hamill, Tim McCann and Young all pouring forward they were a joy to watch and a frightening prospect if you were up against them.
It was no surprise that first Kirk and then Elliott were snapped up by full-time clubs in Scotland.
Elliott was just 21 when he left the Oval for Motherwell in the summer of 2000 and he made rapid progress, being handed his Northern Ireland debut by Sammy McIlroy
He spent six years at Hull City and had spells with Doncaster Rovers, Grimsby Town, Hamilton Academical and Stirling Albion.
Now, despite celebrating his 34th birthday just last month and having been out of football for two years, Elliott’s talented left foot has got itchy and he’s keen to pull on his boots again.
Ballymena United have also made a pitch to sign Elliott, Linfield have been mentioned, but his heart has always been in east Belfast and coming back to the Glens would be his perfect match.
Since his professional career came to an end in the summer of 2010, Elliott has put his energies into Christian ministry with the Living Hope Church in Hull.
His career led him on a path from Belfast, to Motherwell and then to Hull and he never viewed it as simply a coincidence that those are the three locations of sister churches — and the only three of their particular denomination in the world.
Elliott is now an ordained pastor and is returning to Northern Ireland to take a different direction in his Christian work as well as being hungry to return to the club where he made his name.