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Oran Kearney hails winger Ian Parkhill’s impact at Coleraine as he departs Bannsiders for Moyola Park

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Ian Parkhill has joined Moyola Park

Ian Parkhill has joined Moyola Park

Bertie Wright

Bertie Wright

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Ian Parkhill has joined Moyola Park

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney has paid a glowing tribute to Ian Parkhill at the end of his eight years with the club.

The winger is leaving the Showgrounds to continue his career at Moyola Park after making 266 appearances for the club since joining in the summer of 2014. As well as finding the net 28 times, the former Tobermore United player also lifted the Irish Cup and League Cup trophies during his time on the Ballycastle Road.

In addition the Ballymoney man scored in the penalty shoot-out win against NK Maribor in the Europa League in 2020.

“Ian had a fantastic career at Coleraine,” Kearney told the club’s website.

“He was a late comer into the league, but his ability to play at this level was never in question.

“The penny dropped when he was around 22 or 23-years-old and he’s been one hell of a servant since then.

“He epitomised everything that’s good about the club and he was with us when we were at the bottom of the league and when we were up challenging.

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“He is loved both in and out of the changing room, he is held in such high esteem by his team-mates and I know he was a fans’ favourite. I wish him all the best at Moyola Park and we would like to thank him for his contribution.”

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Bertie Wright

Bertie Wright

Bertie Wright

There was also sad news at the weekend with Glentoran announcing the death of legendary former player Bertie Wright, aged 102.

Bertie joined Glentoran in the 1941-42 season and played 214 games for the club, scoring 47 goals, before his departure in 1949. The last match he attended was the Glens’ 2-1 victory over Ballymena United in the 2020 Irish Cup Final, when he was present as a guest of the club.

Glentoran Chairman Ian Kerr paid tribute to Bertie on behalf of the club, saying: “Bertie was a real Glentoran icon and a beacon of light. An important link to some of our hardest days in the 1940s and an example of how to face them and fight through them.

“A really lovely man with a wonderful smile who was Glentoran to the core, we might never see one like him ever again. We have lost a treasure. Our heartfelt and deepest condolences to his family, all Glentoran fans thoughts are with them in this difficult time.”

Former Glens chairman Stephen Henderson added: “I have had the privilege over the years of meeting many former Glentoran players, the heroes and legends of yesteryear, but from them all, one man stood out for his humility, his dignity, his warmth, kindness and his pride on having pulled on our shirt.

“No matter where or when you met him, Bertie lit the room with his smile, his quietly spoken words of wisdom, of encouragement or of a mischievous tale of days gone by, of the days when the game wasn’t about the money, but rather, as his great friend Danny Blanchflower would say, all about the glory.

“It was an honour to spend time in his company and to call him a friend. We haven’t just lost our last survivor of our All Ireland winning team, we have lost an ambassador, a great friend and a true gentleman. The Oval will seem a little darker now.”


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