Belfast Telegraph

David Healy backs goal to have World Cup mural restored in time for anniversary

By Claire McNeilly

It's one of Belfast's best-loved murals - and also, sadly, one of the most neglected.

The renowned depiction of David Healy's famous winning goal, on the corner of Albertbridge Road and Cranforth Street, has clearly seen better days.

Now, with the 10th anniversary of the 1-0 victory at Windsor Park approaching, the Belfast Telegraph has tracked down the artist responsible for the 'Healy Mural' - and he has offered to restore it to its original glory.

East Belfast's John Stewart (42) said it was sad to see his work go to ruin but, so far, no one has come forward to fund a repair project. "People really like that mural and it's a pity it has been ruined," said Mr Stewart, who has painted more than 1,000 murals throughout Northern Ireland over the past 20 years.

"I would love to recreate it -and at a pinch I could even get it done in time for the 10th anniversary of the match (September 7) but obviously someone would have to pay for it."

Goal hero Healy himself would be delighted to see the mural restored.

"I was really proud when it first went up and it would be great to see it back to the way it was," said Northern Ireland's record goalscorer, who is now retired from the game.

"That World Cup qualifier in 2005 was a game that no one involved with Northern Ireland football will ever forget, and, for me, scoring that goal was one of the best moments of my life. That mural captured the moment brilliantly."

Mr Stewart suggested that the Irish FA should come up with the money as the mural depicts one of the association's finest hours.

The Belfast Mural Guide has estimated that there are around 300 quality murals in Belfast alone, with many others in varying degrees of age and decay.

If you are interested in funding John Stewart's restoration, contact Claire McNeilly on 028 9026 4484.

Belfast Telegraph


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