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Ferguson will be Linfield boss some day


Glenn Ferguson

Glenn Ferguson

Glenn Ferguson

Gary Hamilton has led the tributes to Northern Ireland’s second highest goalscorer, Glenn Ferguson, and tipped him to become Linfield manager one day!

There is a well known phrase, ‘you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone’ and the Irish League will be waving farewell to a legend when ‘Spike’ hangs up his boots at the end of the season.

Take a bow Ferguson who netted his 562nd goal in Northern Ireland football this week.

His Lisburn Distillery side were knocked out of the Irish Cup by minnows Ballinamallard United but the silver lining on the Fermanagh cloud came in the shape of the 41-year-old hitting a special milestone.

After moving ahead of Joe Bambrick, only Jimmy Jones — with 646 goals — is in front of him in the goalscoring charts.

Ferguson began his career at Ards but his undoubted class really came to the surface at Glenavon and Linfield.

Hamilton plays for the Lurgan Blues — the club he supported as a boy — and Ferguson was a hero in his eyes.

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Even now, at the age of 41, Hamilton admits ‘Spike’ is a unique talent, someone who can “do things with a football all the other strikers can’t — he can do everything.”

Hamilton can also be a class act himself, when he’s torturing defences and he hopes to cause Ferguson’s old club Linfield a few headaches at Mourneview Park this afternoon.

But Ferguson remains in a league of his own.

“It’s an unbelievable achievement and it brings the memories flooding back for me, watching players like Glenn, Ray McCoy and Stephen McBride up close,” said Hamilton.

“Then, when I played against Spike he was always a really tough and dangerous opponent. The goals tally he has reached will never be repeated because players will not stay around the Irish League for as long as he did.

“The wage cap will probably contribute to more players going across the water.

“And even if they did, they would struggle to stay fit for that length of time.

“To still be playing at this level at his age is quite extraordinary but he still has the technique that no other striker possesses and he scores goals for fun.

“I have no doubt as well that he will make a great manager one day and I know David Jeffrey is doing a fantastic job at Linfield but Spike could be a manager there one day.

“That would not surprise me but I think it’s great that someone with that wealth of experience is happy to help younger players in their careers.”

Hamilton is also hoping to become a successful manager one day and he is already honing his coaching skills.

“I’ve been doing my coaching badges and I have the A licence but I can’t do the Pro licence until I take a managerial job,” added the five-times capped Northern Ireland international.

“It’s something I am interested in and since I was 24 I have been doing the courses. I know the pressure would be on me then but I really take my hat off to men like David Jeffrey who, despite all the pressure, keep getting their hands on trophies.

“People have mentioned their financial resources but money doesn’t buy you success — if that was the case wouldn’t Chelsea win everything! You have to deal with the pressure and keep building winning teams.

“Linfield have the title winning mentality — Glenn Ferguson had that as well — and I’m sure they will keep winning the league in future years.”

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