Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland striker Josh Magennis unveils mural in his Bangor hometown

By Claire Williamson

Northern Ireland striker Josh Magennis was back in his local Bangor estate as his neighbours immortalised their hometown hero in a mural.

The Charlton Athletic player grew up in the Bloomfield estate in Bangor and became a local hero following his part in the Northern Ireland European Championship 2016 campaign.

The Euro 2016 star unveiled the 25ft by 10ft striking mural on Wednesday afternoon.

Pupils from Bloomfield Primary School worked with members of the Bloomfield Community Association, young people in the area and the Housing Executive to make over the area which has been blighted by anti-social behaviour.

The former Bryansburn Rangers man also presented Bloomfield PS with a signed IFA football and delighted children by signing postcards of the mural.

Josh said: “I would like to thank everyone in Bloomfield Estate and especially my family who were always supportive of my desire to be a footballer.

“The Housing Executive Mural is absolutely amazing and it was an honour to be able to play in the Euros and be part of the NI Team. I come home as often as I can and it was great to see my former school teachers, friends and local school children today.

“The advice I gave to them was to follow your dream with hard work and tenacity, as nothing is impossible. We have a great deal of talented young sports men and women in NI and I have no doubt we will have many more sporting heroes in the future.”

Isobelle Hamilton, from the Bloomfield Community Association said: “We are delighted to be able to unveil the mural to Bangor’s Josh Magennis, who played a crucial role in the Northern Ireland Football Team qualifying for their first major championship in 30 years.

“We listened closely to local residents as to how they wished to improve the appearance of the gable wall at the Bloomfield estate. It was agreed that in recognition of the achievements of Josh at Euro 2016, there could be no better tribute for the hometown hero."

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