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Pam's People: Wee country packs big punch in world of sport

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Joanne Dunlop, Linda Dunlop, Michael McCammond, Eunice Coates and Donna McLean

Joanne Dunlop, Linda Dunlop, Michael McCammond, Eunice Coates and Donna McLean

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Conor McLaughlin and Rebecca Fulton

Conor McLaughlin and Rebecca Fulton

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Alison and Anto Finnegan

Alison and Anto Finnegan

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Pamela and Jimmy Kirkwood

Pamela and Jimmy Kirkwood

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Claire McCollum and Pamela Ballantine

Claire McCollum and Pamela Ballantine

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Janet Gray, Barry McGuigan and Bethany Firth

Janet Gray, Barry McGuigan and Bethany Firth

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Barry McGuigan, Carl and Christine Frampton and Shane McGuigan

Barry McGuigan, Carl and Christine Frampton and Shane McGuigan

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Paddy Hopkirk and Jackie Fullerton

Paddy Hopkirk and Jackie Fullerton

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Simon Brien and Tiffany Brien

Simon Brien and Tiffany Brien

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

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Joanne Dunlop, Linda Dunlop, Michael McCammond, Eunice Coates and Donna McLean

What a glittering night of celebration the 20th Annual Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods was and a phrase that was used a lot on the night is "we really do punch well above our weight when it comes to sports stars in our wee country".

On the night, the achievements of some of our greatest sporting heroes brought tears to the eyes. The talents of legendary rugby player and humanitarian Jack Kyle received a special tribute and in the 20th anniversary year of the awards, the readers of the Belfast Telegraph voted one of my sporting heroes Joey Dunlop as Northern Ireland's Greatest Ever Sports Star.

However, it wasn't just our current World, Olympic and Paralympic Champions who were being acknowledged on stage that made it such a special evening, it was the ones in the audience too. It was wonderful to see the mutual respect and admiration for and from our sporting heroes from the past and present and it is obvious that we will continue to punch well above our weight in our wee country for many years to come.

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