Derry's first Olympic hero Anthony Hegarty and boxing legend Billy 'Spider' Kelly honoured in exhibition

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Alderman Graham Warke, paid a visit to the Tower Museum this week to launch a new exhibition celebrating some of Derry and Strabane's sporting success stories.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 11:58 am
Mayor Graham Warke pictured with Roisin Doherty, curator Tower Museum, Betty Doherty, Education and Access officer, at the launch of a temporary exhibition entitled 'Sports of Our Time' at the Tower Museum. Also included are family members of champion boxer Billy 'Spider' Kelly, Olympic hero Anthony Hegarty and Terry Watt, Judo (1972 Summer Olympics). (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

The display opened on Sporting Heritage Day and includes a range of items telling the stories of some local sporting legends.

It's part of a project funded through Sporting Heritage Funding in 2019, and after going on display in the Museum, will become a travelling exhibition which can be loaned out to local community and voluntary groups. It will be available to view at the Tower Museum for two weeks before moving on to the Alley Theatre on October 18.

Viewing the exhibition, Alderman Warke said it painted a fascinating picture of the City's sporting heritage.

"I think the exhibition is a great way to celebrate some of our local sporting heroes, and to share their achievements with younger generations. The fact it can be made available to local groups makes history more accessible to those who maybe wouldn't consider visiting a museum. It brings culture and heritage to new audiences and ensures these great figures live on and inspire future generations."

Curator at the Tower Museum, Roisin Doherty said: "What better way to mark Sporting Heritage Day, than by launching this collection looking back at some of the sporting legends who hail from Derry and Strabane. It's a great way to remember and celebrate sporting history down through the years. I am delighted that the addition of the Pop Ups will enable the Museum to use this as a travelling exhibition."

Assistant Education and Access Officer at the Tower Museum, Betty Doherty, said: "Derry and Strabane have a long history of sporting achievements and organisations, from Greyhound Racing, Boxing, Judo, Football, GAA, and Cricket, to water sports groups such as the Foyle Paddlers and City of Derry Rowing Club.

"We decided that we would celebrate these sports by adding to the Reminiscence Box and turning it into a travelling exhibition and hopefully gathering some more stories along the way."

Mayor, Alderman Graham Warke, talking to Paul Hegarty whose great uncle Anthony Hegarty (silver medal 8000 metres cross country, Olympic Games,1920), was Derry's first Olympic hero, at the launch of a temporary exhibition entitled 'Sports of Our Time' at the Tower Museum.

The reminiscence box featuring item from the exhibition will be made available to community/voluntary and statutory sector organisations on a two-week loan basis in the coming months.

Anyone interested in borrowing it can contact Betty Doherty at [email protected]

Family members of champion boxer Billy 'Spider' Kelly pictured at the launch of a temporary exhibition entitled 'Sports of Our Time' at the Tower Museum. Included, from left, are Aisling Kelly, Jimmy Kelly Ann Herron, Garry Kelly, Anayah Kelly and Billy Kelly. (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)
Betty Doherty, Education and Access Officer, Tower Museum, pictured with Paul Hegarty whose great uncle Anthony Hegarty (silver medal 8000 metres cross country, Olympic Games,1920), was Derry's first Olympic hero, at the launch of a temporary exhibition entitled 'Sports of Our Time' at the Tower Museum.