Campaign to name park after late Jon Clifford

Jon Clifford. (0706PG07)
Jon Clifford. (0706PG07)

The Derry woman who’s campaigning to have Bull Park named after the late Jon Clifford has said she’s hopeful it will get the support of the local political parties, councillors and Council executives.

Adrienne Carlin, who also led a campaign to have Bull Park refurbished a number of years ago, said she’s been heartened by the support she’s received from many people whose lives were touched by Jon Clifford over his four decades involved in local soccer.

She told the Journal yesterday; “I would have liked to have seen the Bull Park renamed after Jon while he was still alive, such was his commitment to local young people and his dedication to Tristar over so many years. It was nothing strange for him to be out there at seven in the morning over the years sweeping broken glass and dog dirt off that pitch so that the boys wouldn’t get hurt during a match later in the day.

“I floated the idea on the Mark Patterson Show on Radio Foyle on Tuesday and there was an immediate reaction from people who were listening, from Derry City stewards to members of the public who knew of Jon’s contribution.”

There was a massive turnout for the funeral of Jon Clifford (58) on Tuesday morning in the Long Tower, with burial afterwards in the city cemetery. The cortege stopped at Brandywell, where Jon had been a steward, for a minute’s silence.

Adrienne, who was a neighbour of Jon’s in Abbott’s Walk in the Bogside for many years, said his dedication to the young footballers in the city was inspiring.

“I hope a decision by the Council to rename the Bull Park after a local legend. As well as being involved with teams there for so many years, Jon also worked there as a warden for a time and it was his spiritual home. I think if it carried the name of Jon Clifford it would be treated with respect and the act would serve as a memorial to a great servant of our city and its young people.”