PEOPLE OF THE YEAR AWARDS - Michael Hutton

Martin McCrossan Tourism and Hospitality Champion of the Year winner - Michael Hutton (Foyle Cup Tournament). Kathryn Thompson, Chief Operating Office Tourisn N. I.DERR3415GS241
Martin McCrossan Tourism and Hospitality Champion of the Year winner - Michael Hutton (Foyle Cup Tournament). Kathryn Thompson, Chief Operating Office Tourisn N. I.DERR3415GS241

The winner of the Martin McCrossan award for contribution to Tourism and Hospitality, Michael Hutton, said he felt honoured to be recognised.

Mr. Hutton, the man who has championed the hugely popular Foyle Cup and who continues to fight tooth and nail to extend its success, said being part of the awards ceremony last Friday night was a privilege.

“I am delighted to be here and be recognised with people such as Sandra Biddle,” he said.

And he insisted that he felt honoured to receive the award that has been created in honour of the late Martin McCrossan.

“I had a lot of time for Martin McCrossan,” added Michael.

“He was a very, very sincere person. I remember taking a group from a school around the city and he approached me and insisted on giving a tour for no payment.

“The work that Martin did was something that he found very rewarding.

“And that’s what I am out trying to do, championing Derry.”

Mr. Hutton has spent years championing the cause of the Foyle Cup, an event that has brought thousands of young people to the city over the years.

However, he doesn’t believe that the local council does enough to support an event like the Foyle Cup in comparison to council own events.

“The Foyle Cup is right up there in terms of major events,” he insisted.

“Hallowe’en is great but the Foyle Cup is a huge event filling up hotels in the city for five to six nights.

“I have always said that the Foyle Cup has been great for the city in three ways.

“It is great for retail, great for tourism in terms of bed nights and great in terms of the young people who stay in the university accommodation and get to experience university life and life on campus for the first time.”

He revealed that the last four years the number of teams taking part in the Foyle Cup had doubled.

“There’s hardly a family in the city who hasn’t been involved in the Foyle Cup in some way,” he concluded.