DERGVIEW Football Club marked its 40th anniversary with a special celebration dinner dance in the Silverbirch Hotel.
Approximately 250 guests attended the gala occasion and they were joined by guest speaker David Jeffrey, the most successful manager in the history of Irish League football and current boss of Ballymena United, David Martin, president of the Irish Football Association and Neil Jardine, chairman of the Fermanagh and Western League.
Both Mr Martin and Mr Jardine presented the club with specially-commissioned gifts to club chairman Roy Lecky to mark the special anniversary.
The night itself featured a display of memorabilia including numerous photographs and newspaper cuttings and some of the trophies which the club had won over the years including the Mercer League, Mulhern Cup, Kennedy Cup, NI Challenge Cup, Championship Two Cup and the club’s very own John Forsythe Memorial Cup which has become part of the club’s pre-season programme.
Following a sumptuous slap-up meal there were a number of speeches which began with Gary Mortland toasting absent friends and thanking everyone who had contributed to the development and progress of the club over the past 40 years.
Founder member Derek Hussey, who received a special presentation on the night, spoke on the club’s formation, Tommy Nethery charted its progress from the ranks of the junior game to senior status, Dessie Thompson recalled the ‘golden era’ and some of the characters involved, in particular former manager Adrian Forbes, before contributions from current manager Ivan Sproule and IFA President Martin.
The evening concluded with the charismatic Mr Jeffrey regaling his audience with stories and tales of his time as manager of Linfield during which he won 35 trophies in 17 seasons.
However even the most decorated manager in the history of the local game was upstaged on the night by none other than stalwart supporter Victor Lecky, who had compiled a specially-commissioned video which included precious footage of some of the club’s greatest and most memorable triumphs over the years.
The 45-minute video ran on two massive screens greatly enhanced the evening during the meal and took many of those in attendance for a very real trip down memory lane.
Club chairman Roy Lecky said the occasion had proved a tremendous success and he put his thanks on record to all involved.
“There were a lot of people who worked hard behind the scenes to make the night happen and I can’t thank them and those who supported their efforts by attending enough,” he said.
“The occasion was all about celebrating the past and acknowledging the part – no matter how big or small – that players, officials, sponsors, supporters, volunteers and everyone else had played in the progress and development of the club.
“It was absolutely fantastic to see so many faces, old and new, and family connections that have been involved in the club over the years. It was great to reflect on the journey we have all been on to come thus far. Now we look forward.”
Official proceedings were brought to a close with a draw before those in attendance danced the night away to the highly-acclaimed Rockits.