Belfast Telegraph

Harry Fay yearning to savour historic success with Solitude aces

Harry Fay
Harry Fay

By Graham Luney

Harry Fay just missed out on Irish Cup glory in 2007 when his Dungannon Swifts side lost a penalty shoot-out after holding Linfield 2-2 at Windsor Park, but this time he has a very clear understanding of what victory will mean for Cliftonville fans.

The long-suffering Red Army haven't toasted an Irish Cup success since 1979, so that means the next squad to end that dismal run will be heroes and legends.

Fay, now Barry Gray's trusted lieutenant at Solitude, was a young Portadown fan when the mid-Ulster side lost out to the Reds in that '79 decider and, since linking up with the former Warrenpoint Town chief in north Belfast, he's been well educated on the desire to bring the famous trophy back to the Cliftonville Road.

"When we got the job, after the first press conference supporters told us, 'Win the Cup and you will be legends'," said Fay.

"The Cup is a big thing for the supporters - 1979 is a long time and I can remember it because a fella from my town, Tony Bell, won the Cup for them.

"The fans see this trophy as the Holy Grail and let's hope we can deliver it. It came down to a penalty kick with the Swifts but you have to win the trophy.

"It's a wrench not to win it. When I was there, 11 years ago you didn't have the media coverage you have today. There is more razzmatazz now and it's more difficult for players but you must put that to one side. The suits and everything else count for nothing unless you win the Cup."

Belfast Telegraph

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