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Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2019: Legend Eric (84) rewarded for his years of service to local hockey


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Just reward: Eric Cunningham with sponsor Julie Hastings

Just reward: Eric Cunningham with sponsor Julie Hastings

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Just reward: Eric Cunningham with sponsor Julie Hastings

South Antrim’s Eric Cunningham has been a prominent figure in Ulster Hockey for decades, and is the winner of our WJ Paddy Patterson Award after all his hard work and dedication.

Cunningham initially served on the Disciplinary Committee for many years and was then honoured to be elected as president of the men’s Ulster Branch in the 2001-02 season. ​

A dedicated volunteer, Eric, who is 84, still mans the entrance gates at Ulster Hockey’s various finals days through all weather conditions. ​

His service to Ulster Hockey has spanned four decades and he is currently chairperson of the Finance Committee.​

Eric continues to be heavily involved with his local club, South Antrim, having played for the Lisburn club well into his 70s.

After joining in 1972 when his former club, Beechlawn, merged with South Antrim, Eric spent four years as chairman before taking up the role of treasurer in 1980.

In addition to his work on the Club Committee, Eric umpired until recently when a leg injury sustained while whistling put that part of his career on hold.

Belfast Telegraph